Did you know that nearly 1 in 3 adults in the United States has high blood cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke? High blood cholesterol can be hard to detect, as it often shows no signs or symptoms.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your body needs to make hormones and digest fats. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, but you can also get cholesterol from eating certain foods, such as egg yolks and fatty meats. Having high blood cholesterol can lead to plaque build-up in the arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke. High blood cholesterol doesn’t have symptoms, which is why getting your cholesterol levels checked is so important.
More than 1 in 5 youths ages 6 to 19 have an unhealthy cholesterol reading, and 95 million U.S. adults age 20 or older have high cholesterol. But since high cholesterol doesn’t have symptoms, many people don’t know their levels are high. Cholesterol should be checked starting early in life—even children and adolescents should have their cholesterol checked.
Cholesterol testing should be done
• Once between ages 9 and 11 (before puberty)
• Once between ages 17 and 21 (after puberty)
• Every 4 to 6 years in adulthood
If your family has a history of early heart attacks or heart disease, or if a child has obesity or diabetes, doctors may recommend screening for high cholesterol more often.
Audubon County Memorial Hospital & Clinics is here to help! Make an appointment today to see one of our providers at Audubon Family Health Clinic and Exira Medical Clinic. Our team of healthcare professionals provides an array of services close to home to improve the well-being of our patients. We are here for you, so choose us for your healthcare needs! To make an appointment, call 712-563-4611 in Audubon or 712-268-5348 in Exira.