Cholesterol is measured using a blood test, which examines your lipid profile. These tests should be taken at least once in five years for individuals over 20 years of age, according to WebMD. Men that are over the age of 35 and women over the age of 45 should undertake these tests more frequently. The lipid profile test includes, total cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides. LDL is know as the bad and HDL is known as the good cholesterol.There are several other phenomenon important to predict you risk of heart disease including, your age, blood pressure, smoking status and alcohol consumption. We have some tips on how you can interpret your test results:

LDL Cholesterol

This is the bad form of cholesterol, which accumulates in your arterial walls. This accumulation narrows the arteries increasing the chance of coronary heart disease, which eventually leads to heart failure. If your LDL is equal to 190mg/DL or more, the value is considered high. In this case, you should think about making changes to your lifestyle. If a change to your lifestyle is not making an impact, your doctors will prescribe some statins, medicines used to reduce cholesterol levels.

HDL Cholesterol

This is the good form of cholesterol and higher levels of HDL will reduce the risk of heart disease. It protects against cholesterol accumulation in the arteries by taking out the LDL. Statins and exercise can increase the levels of HDL. The HDL levels in the body should be between 40-60mg/DL in normal individuals, anything below or above these values is not considered optimal.

Triglycerides

This is how fat is stored in our bodies, carried through the blood from the food we eat. Excessive calories accumulated form sugar or alcohol are converted to triglycerides and stored in our fat cells. High levels of triglycerides can be considered a risk factor for coronary heart disease. The triglyceride count should be less than 150mg/DL in normal people.

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