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Cholesterol

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the body. Having high "bad" cholesterol means you have too much LDL cholesterol in your blood. LDL cholesterol can build up in your arteries and prevent the blood from getting to your heart. HDL cholesterol is the "good" cholesterol. It carries LDL cholesterol away from your artery walls.

Here is some basic information you should know about cholesterol:
  • Too much cholesterol in the blood, or high cholesterol, can be serious. People with high cholesterol are at risk of getting heart disease. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Did you know, 80% of people who have had a heart attack have high cholesterol
  • Only about 25% of cholesterol comes from the foods you eat. The other 75% is made by the body. Factors such as age and family history affect how much cholesterol your body makes. That’s why, for 2 out of 3 people with high cholesterol, diet and exercise alone aren’t enough and a cholesterol-lowering medicine, like LIPITOR, may be necessary
  • People with high cholesterol usually have no symptoms. But it can be detected with a blood test. These tests can also help your doctor predict what your risk for heart disease may be
What Should My Cholesterol Numbers Be?

Your doctor knows best when it comes to your cholesterol goals, and he or she will be your partner in reaching them. National guidelines say a person’s total cholesterol number should be fewer than 200, while 220–239 is considered borderline high, and above 240 is considered high.

National guidelines also provide direction on LDL cholesterol, part of total cholesterol and the main focus of cholesterol-lowering therapy. Having high levels of LDL cholesterol may put you at risk for heart disease. Generally, your LDL cholesterol should be below 160, if you have no other risk factors for heart disease. Managing and lowering your LDL cholesterol then helps to further reduce your risk.

If you have heart disease or diabetes, or risk factors for heart disease, your nationally recommended LDL cholesterol number may differ, as you may be at increased risk for heart disease:

Be sure to work with your doctor to determine the LDL cholesterol goal that is right for you and your risk factors. Risk factors include age, smoking, high blood pressure, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, or family history of early heart disease.

Lowering your cholesterol is a lifelong job, and it takes hard work. Getting daily exercise and eating healthy foods are two very important ways to fight high cholesterol. Still, for 2 out of 3 people with high cholesterol, diet and exercise may not be enough. If you haven’t been successful in lowering your cholesterol on your own, don’t kid yourself about your heart health. Talk to your doctor about a cholesterol-lowering medication to help manage your cholesterol.

Heart disease

Heart disease is a condition that can occur when cholesterol and other fat deposits in the arteries build up and cause the arteries to narrow, restricting blood flow to the heart. As this happens, the heart doesn't receive enough oxygen to work properly, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Heart Disease Risk and Prevention
You are at greater risk of having a heart attack if you:
  • Have high LDL ("bad") cholesterol
  • Have low HDL ("good") cholesterol
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Are a smoker
If you are concerned about heart disease, or any of these risk factors, talk to your doctor right way—don’t put it off any longer. Your doctor will work with you to develop a plan that is right for you.

Heart Attack Symptoms

A person having a heart attack should receive emergency treatment quickly. That's why it's important to know the symptoms of a heart attack and seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms occur.
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
  • Chest pain
  • Weakness or faintness
  • Pain in the arms, neck, jaw, or back
  • Difficulty breathing
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.

Source: http://www.lipitor.com/aboutCholesterol/whatIsCholesterol.aspx



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Cholesterol Reviewed by B Thirunavukkarasu on Saturday, June 25, 2011 Rating: 5

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