‘Which one is the good one again??’ September is not only my mom’s birth month but it’s also National Cholesterol Education Month. In 2010, the total costs of cardiovascular diseases in the U.S. was approximated at $444B. $1 of every $6 spent on health care is related to treatment of these diseases. High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. Risk factors are conditions that increase our chances of getting a disease. In fact, the higher our blood cholesterol level, the greater our risk for developing heart disease or even having a heart attack. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men in the United States. Each year, more than a million Americans have heart attacks and about a half million will die from heart disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one in every six adults or 16% of the adult population has high total cholesterol(240 mg/dL and above). People with high total cholesterol are twice as likely as those with optimal levels to develop heart disease. More women than men have high cholesterol in the US. It’s recommended that all adults check cholesterol numbers atleast every 5 years. Numbers as recent as 2008 show around 23-25% of adults have never had their cholesterol checked let alone the last 5 years. Acute hospital care for people with untreated high cholesterol totaled $13.2B with roughly $6B of that attributed to death of those with heart disease and over $7B more in the treatment of those who have already suffered a heart attack or stroke.
High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms so many people are unaware that their cholesterol level is too high.When there is too much cholesterol(LDL), which is just like fat, in our blood, it builds up in the walls of our arteries and soon begins hardening. This hardening narrows our arteries and constricts blood flow to our heart limiting the amount of oxygen reaching our hearts. If blood supply is completely cut off to any part of the heart, it will result in a heart attack.
Regardless of your age or sex, please find out your good cholesterol (HDL) and your bad cholesterol (LDL) numbers and commit yourself to making healthier eating choices and increasing physical activity. Remember prevention is far less expensive (mentally, physically, and financially) than treatment.
For more information on how you can manage your cholesterol, contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s design your plan and execution of consuming a diet that is low in sodium; low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol; rich in fruits and vegetables. As a bonus, find out the best exercises to not only lower your bad cholesterol(LDL) but also raise your good cholesterol(HDL) while improving your heart health.
Our First Wealth is Our Health!