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High Cholesterol: Risk Factor for Heart Disease, Stroke

What are your cholesterol numbers?

About Cholesterol

  • Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in your body
  • High levels of cholesterol in your blood can lead to heart disease
  • Nearly 42% of adults in South Carolina have high cholesterol

Types of Cholesterol

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol

  • Makes up the majority of the cholesterol in your body
  • Referred to as “bad” cholesterol because it can clog your arteries, increasing your risk for heart disease

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol

  • Helps keep your arteries clear, reducing your risk of heart disease
  • Scientists think that this “good” cholesterol mops up bad cholesterol and carries it to your liver, which then flushes it out of your body

Triglycerides

  • Are not cholesterol, but are a type of fat that can clog arteries
  • Are often a part of the blood test a doctor does to check your cholesterol levels

Know Your Numbers

High cholesterol does not have any symptoms, so it’s important to get a blood test to check your levels. Below is a list of desirable cholesterol numbers:

  • Total Cholesterol - less than 200 mg/dL
  • LDL "Bad" Cholesterol - less than 100 mg/dL
  • HDL "Good" Cholesterol – Women: 50 mg/dL or higher. Men: 40 mg/dL or higher
  • Triglycerides - less than 150 mg/dL

How Can I Lower My Cholesterol?

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