Check cholesterol levels regularly
Several common factors that can increase your cholesterol levels include heredity, diet, weight, physical inactivity, age, gender, alcohol, and stress.
However, high blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms. Therefore, it is important to check your cholesterol level regularly, to reduce your susceptibility to coronary heart disease.
If your total cholesterol level is between 5.2 and 6.1mmol/L, you are at an increased risk for coronary heart disease. If your total cholesterol level registers at 6.2 mmol/L and above, you are having hypercholesterolaemia, which is attributable to genetic factors, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and poor eating habits.
The desirable level of LDL depends on your preexisting risk for coronary heart disease. If you already have coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, or diabetes, you are in the high-risk group and the desirable level is more stringent. Conversely, if you have none or only one risk factor, a higher value of LDL is acceptable before medical intervention.
HDL protects against heart disease, so the higher HDL levels, the better. A level less than 1.0 mmol/L is low and is considered a risk factor. The risk of heart disease is lower when HDL level is 1.0 mmol/L or more. Women usually tend to have higher HDL cholesterol levels than men.
Higher-than-normal levels of triglyceride also put you at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Elevated triglyceride levels are more common in people who are obese or those with poorly controlled diabetes. As you get older and more overweight, your trigylceride and cholesterol levels tend to increase.
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