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What's Up Magazine

September is Cholesterol Awareness Month. What's Your Number?

Sep 04, 2012 06:40PM ● By Anonymous

“Every other American male and every third American female over age 40 will develop coronary heart disease,” said Mark Eskandari, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. For this reason, HHS has designated September Cholesterol Awareness Month.

“It’s possible to limit cholesterol build-up in your blood vessels,” said Dr. Eskandari. “Lowering your risk factors can help prevent coronary heart disease.”

The vascular surgeon suggests the following actions:

  • • Exercise (30 minutes daily)
  • • Reduce intake of saturated fats and cholesterol-containing foods
  • • Quit smoking
  • • Reduce excess weight (waist size more than 40 inches for men;more than 35 inches for women)

The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) within the National Institute of Health’s National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommends a cholesterol check every five years for adults more than 20 years of age. Desirable cholesterol levels are:

  • • Total cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dL
  • • Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol): Less than 100 mg/dL
  • • High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ("good" cholesterol): 40 mg/dL or higher
  • • Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL

“Through lifestyle changes, most Americans can attain these cholesterol levels,” said Dr. Eskandari. “If necessary, cholesterol-lowering medications can help.”

Cholesterol information appears on the Society for Vascular Surgery website.