"Seventy-one million American adults have high cholesterol, but only one-third of them have the condition under control," the CDC declares on its National Cholesterol Education Month website. September's month-long focus on cholesterol education, then, is "a good time to resolve to get your cholesterol screened."
"High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and fifth leading causes of death in the United States," the agency stated in last year's National Cholesterol Education Month press statement. "High cholesterol is asymptomatic; therefore, blood cholesterol screening is the only way to know one's risk."
Cholesterol Education Tools, Tips & Resources
Cholesterol Education Fact Sheets & InfographicsThe CDC offers a host of cholesterol education tools and resources, such as:
- Patient Infographic: What Can We Do to Control Cholesterol? (via Heart.org)
- Patient Fact Sheet: Know the Facts about High Cholesterol (via the CDC)
- Web Page/Resource: High Cholesterol Educational Materials for Patients (via the CDC)
- Clinical Fact Sheet: High Cholesterol Facts from the CDC, including a chart breaking down cholesterol national levels by race, ethnicity, and sex. (Via the CDC.)
- Clinical Fact Sheet: State Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Programs Address High Blood Cholesterol. This one's a tad on the older side, but still contains great cholesterol awareness information: "High blood cholesterol is a major modifiable risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States," it states. "Yet, a 10% decrease in total blood cholesterol levels can reduce the incidence of heart disease by as much as 30%." (Via the CDC.)
- Infographic: High Cholesterol's Heart Disease Risk Factor (via the NIH).
The CDC's National Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention program also supports cholesterol awareness, in the form of "evidence-based practices in community and clinical settings, specifically highlighting cholesterol control within communities."
Cholesterol Education Month: Additional Facts & InformationSometimes, the simple facts are the most powerful. "Fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and clean cooking without lots of added oils and salt can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent or even reverse heart disease, combat diabetes, curb cancer risks, reduce inflammation and, in doing all that, trim your waistline and give you more energy," as the Toronto Star states, reminding us of the basic importance of dietary habits and food intake not only for cholesterol management, but healthiness and longevity in general.
And throughout its materials on high cholesterol and heart health, the CDC emphasizes high-level tips and resources central to cholesterol awareness and education. "The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends regular cholesterol screening for men aged =35 years, women aged =45 years, and men aged 20–35 years and women aged 20–45 years who are at an increased risk for coronary heart disease," the agency has noted. "The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children have their cholesterol levels measured at ages 9–11 years and again at ages 17–21 years."
"Lowering high cholesterol or maintaining a healthy cholesterol level can reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke," the CDC concludes. "Health behaviors such as engaging in physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, following a heart-healthy diet, and using medication can all contribute to the maintenance of a healthy cholesterol level and decreased risk for heart attack or stroke."
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