(WYTV) – September is National Cholesterol Education Month.
Having high cholesterol can put you at an increased risk for heart disease, but we can treat it at any age.
Dr. Luke Laffin, with the Cleveland Clinic, said managing your cholesterol should start when you’re young.
“Typically, we recommend as soon as someone turns 18 or in their early 20s, to at least have a one-time cholesterol panel and it almost serves as a screening test of sorts, then we can check every three to five years after the fact.”
Cholesterol screening is a simple blood test after fasting. Your “total” cholesterol should be less than 170.
Your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, should be less than 110 and your HDL, or “good” cholesterol, should be 35 or higher.
Finally, you want triglycerides — a type of fat found in your blood — to be less than 150.
We treat high cholesterol with exercise, a heart healthy diet and medication, if needed.
If you have higher risk factors such as a strong family history, you smoke, you’re obese or you have diabetes or hypertension, your doctor may want to check you more often and be a bit more aggressive in those treatments.