National Cholesterol Education Month is observed every September to raise awareness about cholesterol and its effect on cardiovascular disease and stroke. It’s a good time to supply your referral partners with patient brochures on these diseases.
Cholesterol is an essential substance produced in the liver and carried throughout the body by proteins. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL, or bad cholesterol, and HDL, the good cholesterol. High levels of LDL become a concern because they can create fatty deposits in blood vessels which contributes to the development of atherosclerosis, significantly increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
HDL actually promotes artery health by reducing inflammation and blocking the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. There are indications that HDL may even have the ability to pull some of the cholesterol out of arterial walls and transport it back to the liver where it can be removed from the body.
Cholesterol can largely be regulated by diet and exercise. However, some people have an inherited propensity to high cholesterol called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) that can’t effectively be controlled without medication. People with diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, or women who are pregnant tend to have higher levels of cholesterol and should be closely monitored.
A combined cholesterol level that is less that 200mg/dL is considered healthy.
Standard Cholesterol Guidelines:
LDL levels should be less than 100 mg/dL
- 100-129 mg/dL is acceptable for those not at risk for heart disease
- 130 -159 mg/dL is borderline high
- 160-189 mg/dL is high
- 190 mg/dL or higher is very high
HDL levels should be kept at 60 mg/dL or higher
- 41 mg/dL -59 mg/dL is borderline low
- 40 mg/dL or less is a major risk of heart disease
Get involved by:
- Sharing cholesterol information throughout the month of September on your social media feeds.
- Partnering with local healthy eateries to host lunch-n-learns for local non-profits that align with your mission. Provide information about cholesterol monitoring and demonstrate your expertise and value as a Home Health provider.
- Providing your public health center with brochures about disease prevention.
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