Is your heart healthy? You may think the answer is “yes”, but do you really know? If you are an American male with an average American diet and lifestyle, the odds are not in your favor. In fact, the CDC says that 73.5 million adults (31.7%) in the United States have high LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. And of those people, fewer than 1 out of every 3 adults (29.5%) has the condition under control.
You might be thinking, “So what? Who cares if my cholesterol is a little high?” YOU should care, and here’s why:
1. It can kill you. People with high total cholesterol have approximately twice the risk for heart disease as people with ideal cholesterol levels. Additionally, lowering your cholesterol can reduce your risk of having a heart attack, needing heart bypass surgery or angioplasty, and dying of heart disease.
2. Even if it doesn’t kill you, it can lessen your quality of life. You’ll suffer countless possible health problems, including chest pain, circulatory problems, digestive problems and gallstones.
So what is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that travels through your blood on lipoproteins and is necessary for important bodily functions such as making hormones and digesting fats. Everyone needs cholesterol, but certain factors like poor diet can cause a person to have too much of it, and this can be a very bad thing. When you have too much cholesterol in your body, or high cholesterol, it will start to build up in plaque deposits along the walls of your blood vessels. Over time, this build-up causes the blood vessels to become narrower and narrower, allowing less blood flow to reach your heart and other organs. This can cause angina or even a heart attack if an artery becomes fully blocked by plaque.
Even if you think you’re healthy, it’s a good idea to get your cholesterol checked so that you can establish a baseline for monitoring your cholesterol in the future. And if you have high cholesterol, the sooner you learn about it, the better, so that steps can be taken to lessen your risk of death from heart disease.
At Any Lab Test Now, there are several options to choose from when it comes to cholesterol testing.
Our Lipid Panel provides a comprehensive look at your cholesterol levels, including testing for your total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, HDL/LDL ratio and triglycerides. The Lipid Panel is a great option for establishing a baseline from which to continuously monitor your cholesterol levels. The Cholesterol Medication Maintenance Panel and Basic Check-Up Panel are also excellent testing options for measuring your cholesterol levels. Talk to our experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn which cholesterol testing is right for you.