Monday, September 14, 2015

September is National Cholesterol Education Month

September 2015 is National Cholesterol Education Month

High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and fifth leading causes of death in the United States. High cholesterol is asymptomatic; therefore, blood cholesterol screening is the only way to know one's risk.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends regular cholesterol screening for men aged ≥35 years, women aged ≥45 years, and men aged 20–35 years and women aged 20–45 years who are at an increased risk for coronary heart disease. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children have their cholesterol levels measured at ages 9–11 years and again at ages 17–21 years.

Lowering high cholesterol or maintaining a healthy cholesterol level can reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke. Health behaviors such as engaging in physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, following a heart-healthy diet, and using medication can all contribute to the maintenance of a healthy cholesterol level and decreased risk for heart attack or stroke. Educational materials and additional information are available at http://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol.

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