National Cholesterol Education Month: Tips & Tidbits to Stay Healthy & Informed

September is National Cholesterol Education Month

When was the last time you checked your cholesterol?

From children to adults, high cholesterol can affect people of all ages. So, it’s important for everyone to know how to keep their cholesterol levels in check. This National Cholesterol Education Month, use this comprehensive infographic to brush up on your knowledge of cholesterol health.


High Cholesterol Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that can cause high cholesterol including: 

  • Age: While high cholesterol can affect people of all ages, the risk of developing high cholesterol increases as you get older. Over time, your body’s chemistry and metabolism go through several changes.  As a result, your liver may slow down the process of removing low-density lipoproteins (LDL). [1]
  • Race: Studies have shown a correlation between blood cholesterol levels and race. For example, African Americans and Hispanics have shown to have higher low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. [2]
  • Sex: Gender can also affect blood cholesterol levels. In a study comparing the lipid profiles of men and women, women had significantly higher total LDL and HDL levels compared to men. [3]    
  • Genetics: Knowing your family history is important when managing your cholesterol levels. Beyond basic hereditary concerns, one specific genetic disease, familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is extremely common and causes a spike in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. [4]

Checking Your Cholesterol Levels

So, now that you have a better understanding of Cholesterol, you can get proactive about managing your cholesterol levels. 

The American Heart Association recommends that adults 20 years or older check their cholesterol every 4 to 6 years. To check your cholesterol levels, ask your doctor for r a routine lipid panel blood test.[1]  Lipid panel blood tests measure your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. If your cholesterol levels are not within a healthy range, your doctor may prescribe medication to help lower them, or suggest healthy lifestyle changes.  

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