Preventing heart disease starts with managing your health and your risk factors. The following are four cholesterol facts you need to know.

High cholesterol is a heart disease risk factor that affects about 71 million Americans. While cholesterol gets a bad reputation, it is actually a natural component that supports functions within the body. However, when “bad” cholesterol gets too high, it causes plaque buildup in your arteries, which puts your health at risk.

When people talk about “bad” cholesterol, they’re talking about low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. If you have high levels of LDL cholesterol, then you need to make lifestyle changes and maybe even take medication to lower your numbers. Johns Hopkins Medicine provides a cholesterol calculator if you need help figuring out your number.

According to a 2013 study led by Seth Martin, M.D., M.H.S. at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, an old calculation method said that nearly 1 in 4 people have LDL cholesterol in the “desirable” level. However, some of these people may have needed more aggressive treatment. Fortunately, the newer way of calculating provides a more accurate assessment of risks.

Four Cholesterol Facts

Cholesterol Facts1. Statin Benefits Outweigh Any Risks

Statins are drugs that lower your cholesterol by blocking a substance your body uses to make cholesterol. According to a review by Johns Hopkins, the risks associated with statins (e.g.: memory problems, diabetes, etc.) are very low while their heart benefits are very high.

2. New Guidelines Improve Cholesterol Treatment

Since 2019, healthcare providers have been using new guidelines that can more accurately assess your heart risk according to your LDL cholesterol levels. Through the use of these guidelines, your doctor can work with you to come up with a treatment plan that fits your individual needs.

3. Imaging Tests Can Detect Cholesterol Impact

If you want to know if you have calcium and plaque buildup in your heart’s arterial walls, then you can undergo a coronary artery calcium scan. This test uses computerized tomography (CT) technology to detect the presence of heart disease before you present symptoms, giving you the chance to address your risk in a timely manner.

4. LDL Cholesterol Is a Major Risk Factor

According to the new guidelines on assessing risk for heart disease, medication can help those with heart disease with an LDL level of 70 mg/dl or higher. Moreover, those without heart disease and an LDL level above 190 in two separate readings need to be evaluated for familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), an inherited condition.

Lowering Your Cholesterol

heartbeet completeIf you want to lower your cholesterol levels, you don’t have to wait until you get prescription medication. In fact, you can decrease the risk of high cholesterol by making certain lifestyle changes.

For example, you can exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and take supplements like HeartBeet Complete. Its ingredients help promote circulation, blood pressure health, energy levels, and more. Give your heart and cholesterol health the support they need by staying on top of your cholesterol levels and taking HeartBeet Complete.