Cholesterol Screening is Critical
Cholesterol screening and heart disease prevention is something of a paradox in American Society. It is more likely to occur among the blue-collar, working class population, but at the same time, these are the people who have the fewest resources to get a cholesterol test, less education to understand the results of a lipid test, and the least amount of discretionary income to spend on cholesterol medication.
This article will explain where and how one can get their cholesterol tested and how to understand the results of a this test.
Affordable Cholesterol Screenings
Some health care programs targeting the working class (who are underrepresented in voluntary cholesterol testing) make cheap or free testing of ones levels available at a convenient time and place for blue-collar workers. Much like mobile blood drives, such health care programs set up temporary mass cholesterol screening facilities at community centers such as schools, churches, or neighborhood clinics. One example of these programs is “Heart at Work”, which sets up temporary clinics to provide an opportunity on specific days to have your levels checked in the workplace.
The American Heart Association has careful specifications and guidelines for such cholesterol tests. Mass screenings carry an increased chance of inaccurate results, so smaller-scale profiles are preferred. Lipid tests must be carried out by qualified medical professionals, and verbal and written explanation of the results must be provided.
Finally, such public cholesterol screenings try to coordinate an applicant’s test results with local health care facilities to inform the applicant’s primary health care physician of the lipid test results. Informing an applicant of their tests results, after all, does not guarantee they’ll inform their doctor or request follow-up treatment.
What Do The Results Mean?
When it comes to interpreting the numbers from thier test, one should not just look at the Total Cholesterol score—the results (the actions that should be taken on them) are more complex than that. A cholesterol count measures three types of lipids in the blood, particles that carry cholesterol throughout your bloodstream.
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are the “bad” cholesterol, causing cholesterol build-up in your arteries (leading to high blood pressure), and even artery blockages (leading to heart attacks). A healthy LDL count depends on your risk factor for heart disease, which is determined by several other factors (such as weight, family history, smoking, etc.) A healthy LDL count should be below 100 for someone with a high risk of heart disease, below 130 for someone at moderate risk, and below 160 for low risk.
High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are the “good” cholesterol, which helps prevent cholesterol from building up in your arteries. Because HDL’s protect against heart disease, a high count is preferable. An LDL count of 40 or above is considered healthy. A count of 60 or above can actually help lower your risk heart disease.
Triglycerides are another fat-carrying particle that can cause arterial cholesterol build-up. Again, a healthy triglyceride count depends on someone’s risk factor. A healthy triglyceride count should be below 150 for someone with a high risk of heart disease, below 200 for someone at moderate or low risk.
Lowering Your Cholesterol
If you have your reading checked and the results of your lipid test show you have a high level of cholesterol and need to lower it, there are other alternative besides expensive cholesterol medication. A careful diet can help lower your cholesterol by eating lots of soluble fiber (found in fruits and vegetables) and decreasing your intake of high-cholesterol food, such as meat and dairy products.
Nutritional supplements can also help, such as flax seed or psyllium husk to increase your fiber intake. Fish oil supplements can help increase your HDL count, which helps reduce cholesterol build-up in your arteries. Finally, regular cardiovascular exercise to strengthen your heart will help prevent cholesterol-related heart disease.
We have provided this explanation of a cholesterol screening and the results it provides to help you take control of your health. You will want to review other pages on this site to learn how easy it is to keep reduce high lipid readings. If you follow the suggestions we provide, you will improve your health and probably extent the years you have with your family.
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