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Importance of Cholesterol Blood Test
- The importance of cholesterol levels on overall health.
- High cholesterol may not initially display any symptoms.
- Get your cholesterol tested and take positive action!
A test for blood cholesterol levels is very important because cholesterol levels can have a profound effect on your health, and in particular on the risk of heart disease. Your risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease increases if you have high levels of cholesterol in your blood.
Heart disease is the leading killer of women and men in many western countries, including the United States. In the USA, approximately half a million people die every year from heart disease and there are over a million people who have heart attacks.
Why is cholesterol such an important factor?
Hypercholesterolemia is a condition that occurs when there is an excess of cholesterol in the blood stream. Cholesterol forms a fat-like, waxy substance. Cholesterol can build up on the inside walls of arteries, and that can form the initial stages of hypercholesterolemia (i.e. high cholesterol levels). Over a period of time, arteries can become narrower due to the buildup of plaque, and the consequence is that blood flow to organs and tissues, including the heart, is slowed down or may even become blocked. The buildups also tend to cause hardening of the arteries, making your blood vessels less flexible and less elastic which also inhibits blood flow. If blood flow is limited, there is a danger that insufficient oxygen and other nutrients will reach your heart. This may lead to chest pain (angina), and may even cause a heart attack. If blood supply is restricted or blocked to the brain, a stroke may be the result.
Hypercholesterolemia may not be obvious because it tends not to display any outward symptoms. Because of this, many people may not be aware that their blood cholesterol levels are high. That is one very good reason why a cholesterol test is so important. If you do not know your cholesterol level, you will not be best placed to take positive steps to address any problem.
If your cholesterol levels are too high, it may be critical to your health that you lower them as it will reduce your risk of stroke, and of developing heart disease. If you have high cholesterol, reducing your cholesterol levels can also lessen your risk of a heart attack or of developing a heart condition that may seriously affect your quality of life.
As a guide, people over twenty years of age should have a blood test for cholesterol once every five years at least. In order to get a detailed breakdown of your own data, you can ask for a blood test known as a lipoprotein profile. The results of this cholesterol blood test are fast and should be available to you within a day. Cholesterol blood test results will give you detailed information on your LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, your total cholesterol level, and the level of triglycerides in your blood.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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