Why National Cholesterol Education Month is Important
It shines a light on a silent condition
High cholesterol has no symptoms itself, but it can lead to blockages of your arteries. This can result in heart disease. National Cholesterol Education Month raises awareness about this potentially dangerous condition.
It urges people to get checked
A simple blood test can tell you if your cholesterol is high and if you’re in danger of heart disease. Be there are no symptoms for high cholesterol, adults over the age of 20 are encouraged to get this test once every five years.
It galvanizes people to make healthier choices
High cholesterol can often be caused by one’s lifestyle habits. Poor diet, a lack of exercise, and other factors like smoking can cause or exacerbate the condition. Luckily, improving one’s lifestyle choices can also help lower cholesterol and National Cholesterol Education Month teaches people just how to do that.
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat like substance. It is produced by the liver and is present in dietary sources. It is a major component of cell membranes and is used to make hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids used in digestion.
Cholesterol is carried through the blood on lipoproteins.
There are two major types of lipoproteins:
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL), often called “good” cholesterol
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often called “bad” cholesterol
Excess LDL cholesterol is deposited in the walls of arteries throughout the body. This can lead to ASCVD, which includes heart attack, stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), stable or unstable angina, and peripheral artery disease (PAD), including aortic aneurysm, al
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