Why Cholesterol Affects Women Differently
In general, women have higher levels of HDL cholesterol than men because the female sex hormone estrogen seems to boost this good cholesterol. But, like so much else, everything changes at menopause. At this point, many women experience a change in their cholesterol levels total and LDL cholesterol rise and HDL cholesterol falls. This is why women who had favorable cholesterol values during their childbearing years might end up with elevated cholesterol later in life. Of course, genetics and lifestyle factors can play big roles, too.
Where Can I Find More Information About The Treatment Of High Cholesterol
Ask your doctor where you can find information on cholesterol. Your library may have books on high cholesterol and heart disease. The Web sites of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association have good information. Their addresses are and .
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What If My Cholesterol Level Is Above The Recommended Level
Theres a lot that you can do with the information you receive when it comes to your cholesterol test results. In the first instance you should consult your GP or healthcare professional for advice. But to help give you more information that you might find of interest, weve put together a guide to the causes of elevated cholesterol here.
Many of these are beyond our control, but there are some steps you can take to help lower cholesterol through small changes to your diet and lifestyle. Why not try Flora ProActiv? The plant sterols in Flora ProActiv can help lower cholesterol within 2-3 weeks. There are other useful tips in Flora ProActivs 21 day cholesterol-lowering plan! *
If, as a result of finding out about your cholesterol levels, friends and family start to ask you What is normal, cholesterol-wise? or What are normal cholesterol levels? please dont keep the information to yourself! Encourage close family members to speak to their doctor about taking a cholesterol test, and help to spread awareness amongst your friends. If you want to start lowering your cholesterol today, check out and download our Cholesterol Starter Kit.
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Risks Of Untreated High Cholesterol
High cholesterol often produces no signs and symptoms, but the health consequences can be severe.
When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it builds up in the arteries alongside fat and other substances, forming deposits called plaque. The accumulation of plaque narrows the arteries and reduces and slows the blood flow to the heart. If the blood supply to any part of the heart becomes blocked, a heart attack can occur.
What Levels Are Normal And When Are They Too High
“Its normal for cholesterol levels to rise slightly as you get older and women tend to have higher HDL than men. In the UK, the average total cholesterol level is 5.7mmol/l.” – Dr Zenon Andreou
“Its normal for cholesterol levels to rise slightly as you get older and women tend to have higher HDL than men. In the UK, the average total cholesterol level is 5.7mmol/l.”
There are two main types of lipoprotein:
- High-density good lipoprotein this type carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver to be broken down or passed away as a waste product.
- Low-density bad lipoprotein takes cholesterol to the cells where its needed. If there is more LDL than needed, it can build up in the artery walls.
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
Lifestyle factors include:
- an unhealthy diet– eating too much saturated fat is thought to increase levels of LDL or bad cholesterol
- lack of exercise – this can also increase your levels of LDL
- obesity – being overweight often means you also have higher levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and a lower level of the good HDL.
- drinking too much alcohol
- smoking – if you smoke, a chemical in cigarettes called acrolein stops the good HDL from moving fatty deposits to your liver
- kidney disease
- transient ischaemic attack – or a mini stroke
- peripheral arterial disease
Cholesterol Levels Chart For Children
Some children are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol because of a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia . The most effective way to diagnose FH is to get your child proper genetic testing from a specialist between the ages of 2 and 10, says Mohamed Al-Kazaz, MD, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital.
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Why You Need To Check Your Cholesterol Levels
Monitoring your cholesterol levels is so important because high cholesterol is often a silent problem. Healthline explains that high cholesterol typically doesnt cause any symptoms. In fact, most people dont even know they have high cholesterol until they develop serious complications. It could lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Routine cholesterol screenings are so important for preventing these complications. The American Heart Association recommends that adults age 20 and older have their cholesterol checked every four to six years as long as their risks remain low.
What Affects Cholesterol Levels
There are a variety of factors that can affect cholesterol levels. Some risk factors are within your control, while others are not:
- Genetics: These factors include familial hypercholesterolemia and a family history of heart disease.
- Sex: Males often have higher levels of LDL. After menopause, a woman’s LDL levels can also increase.
- Weight: People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of having high cholesterol.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can increase the risk of overweight and obesity and, in turn, increase cholesterol levels.
- Diet: Overall diet quality can affect cholesterol in a negative way, including eating too many saturated and trans fats and not enough fiber.
- Age: Your body’s ability to clear cholesterol can be impacted as you age.
- Race and ethnicity: There are different rates of high cholesterol based on race/ethnicity and sex, with the highest rates among males in Hispanics and the highest rates among females in non-Hispanic Whites.
- Smoking: Smoking can increase your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol.
- Other medical conditions: Having a previous history of high cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol.
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How Often Should I Get My Cholesterol Levels Checked
The following provides general recommendations for various age groups.
People who are 19 years of age or younger should:
- Get the first test done between ages 9 to 11 years
- Repeat the test every 5 years
- For children, who have a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke, the testing may start at 2 years of age
People who are age 20 years or older:
- Those between the age of 20 to 44 years should get tested every 5 years
- Women in the age group 45 to 54 years should get tested every 5 years
- Men in the age group 45 to 65 years should get their cholesterol levels checked every 1-2 years
- Women in the age group 55 to 65 years should get tested every 1-2 years
What Exactly Is Sex
DSD is used to describe chromosomes, anatomy, or sex characteristics that cant be categorized as exclusively male or female.
As with names and pronouns, its important to refer to people in the manner that they prefer. Some people are comfortable with the term intersex and use it to describe themselves. Others have moved away from using this term and refer to their condition as a DSD.
With some research reporting that as many as are acknowledging that sex may be far more complex than what the traditional male-female binary accounts for.
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Eat Soup Before Dinner
You might be accustomed to a pre-dinner salad as a calorie-cutting measure, but if leafy greens arent your thing, research suggests you can eat soup before dinner and cut down on how much youll eat when the main course is served. Research in the journal Appetite found that people who had a low-calorie, thick soup before lunch ate 20 percent less food during the meal compared to people who ate no soup at all. Plus, people who ate soup didnt report being hungry or feeling less full at the end of the meal. These are the best and worst soups for weight loss.
What Raises The Risk Of Unhealthy Cholesterol Levels
Many different factors can influence someone’s cholesterol level or certain components of it. Some of the most common risk factors for unhealthy cholesterol levels include:
- Eating too much saturated and trans fats
- Consuming too much sugar, especially refined sugars
- Inflammatory conditions such as lupus and arthritis
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At My Age What Should My Cholesterol Be
We know high cholesterol is bad, but what is a good level? At my age, what should my cholesterol be? Learn more here.
While high cholesterol is bad for your health, this means different things for different people. There are various factors to consider when measuring your levels including age, weight, and gender.
Moreover, there are three categories in measuring cholesterol: total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol. Having a good amount of HDL cholesterol is beneficial, while the opposite is true of LDL and total cholesterol.
You Dont Need To Avoid Eggs And Seafood
Some foods are high in cholesterol but are fine to eat in moderation, as long as your overall diet is low in saturated fats. For example:
- Egg yolks a single egg yolk contains 200250 mg of cholesterol, which is almost the uppermost recommended daily intake . However, reducing egg intake is probably not important for healthy people with normal blood cholesterol levels.
- Seafood prawns and seafood contain some cholesterol, but they are low in saturated fat and also contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Seafood is a healthy food and should not be avoided just because it contains cholesterol. However, avoid fried and battered seafood.
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How To Improve Unhealthy Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol may be dangerous, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to lower your cholesterol levels. One major way to do that is by engaging in a heart-healthy lifestyle.
While it helps to follow a healthy lifestyle from an early age, youre never too old to change your lifestyle for the better and help protect your heart health, says Jen Bruning, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
One of the best ways to improve your cholesterol is to follow a diet that limits foods high in saturated fat and eliminates trans fats. Other tips for changing unhealthy cholesterol levels include:
Hdl Cholesterol: ‘good’ Cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is considered “good” cholesterol because it actually works to keep the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol from building up in your arteries. The higher the HDL, the better. HDL levels of 60 mg/dL and higher can help reduce your risk for heart disease. Conversely, HDL levels of 40 mg/dL and lower are considered a high risk-factor for developing heart disease.
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Cholesterol: The Normal Women By Age Table
Cholesterol is a complex organic compound included in the structure of cell walls in the tissues of the human body and it performs vital functions. But excess of normal cholesterol levels in blood leads to health risks, in particular, is a factor in the development of diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
The normal concentration of cholesterol in the blood are different for men and women and changes with age. Women have a particularly high probability of an improvement in this indicator after 50 years. Persons who passed this age limit should be periodically tested for the level of cholesterol in the blood.
How And When To Have Your Cholesterol Checked
Getting your cholesterol levels checked is an important part of staying healthy. High cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States.
Knowing your cholesterol status can help you stay in control of your health. Learn about cholesterol screening and why it is important.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your body needs to make hormones and digest fats. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, but you can also get cholesterol from eating certain foods, such as egg yolks and fatty meats. Having high blood cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke. High blood cholesterol doesnt have symptoms, which is why getting your cholesterol levels checked is so important.
Learn more about cholesterol screenings.
You should get your cholesterol checked at least every 5 years. If you have cardiovascular risk factors, talk with your health care team about getting tested more often.
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Can High Cholesterol Be Prevented Or Avoided
Making healthy food choices and exercising are two ways to reduce your risk of developing high cholesterol.
Eat fewer foods with saturated fats . Choose healthier fats. This includes lean meats, avocados, nuts, and low-fat dairy items. Avoid foods that contain trans fat . Look for foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These foods include salmon, herring, walnuts, and almonds. Some egg brands contain omega-3.
Exercise can be simple. Go for a walk. Take a yoga class. Ride your bike to work. You could even participate in a team sport. Aim to get 30 minutes of activity every day.
Cholesterol Chart For Adults
Your doctor may recommend a plan of treatment for high cholesterol that includes lifestyle modifications and potentially medication. This will vary based on factors like other medications you may be taking, your age, sex, and general health.
Here are some medications more commonly prescribed for high cholesterol:
- Statins.Statins lower the LDL cholesterol levels by slowing the production of cholesterol by the liver.
- Bile acid sequestrants.Bile acid sequestrants are substances used in digestion. These resins can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood by binding to bile acids and removing them, forcing the body to break down LDL cholesterol to create bile acids instead.
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors.Cholesterol absorption inhibitors can block the absorption of cholesterol from the diet, sometimes in conjunction with statins.
- Bempedoic acid.Bempedoic acid helps to stop an enzyme in the liver, ATP citrate lyase, from making cholesterol. This drug is often combined with statins for increased benefit for those with familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited condition that can cause early heart disease.
- PCSK9 inhibitors. Also used frequently with familial hypercholesterolemia, PCSK9 inhibitors, which are injected drugs, help the liver absorb and remove more LDL cholesterol from the blood.
Medications can also be used to treat contributing factors to cholesterol like triglycerides. These may be used in addition to some of the medications above.
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How Do You Prepare For A Cholesterol Test
In most cases, youll need to fast for nine to 12 hours before the test. Make sure you tell the person drawing your blood how long it has been since you ate or drank anything that wasnt water.
There are some cases when a cholesterol test is done without fasting. This is true for tests done at health screenings and may be true for people younger than 20 or for people who are unable to fast.
Some medical societies believe that fasting is not necessary to get a true picture of lipid levels in the blood, while other associations stand by the belief that fasting gives a better idea of a persons heart disease risk. You should be clear on whether or not you need to fast, and for how long, before you go for the blood test.
How To Get Your Cholesterol Levels Checked
You can buy a test kit that will allow you to check your cholesterol levels at home, but they vary in how accurate they are. Kits that are approved by the FDA and say theyre traceable to a CDC program may be more accurate.
Given the lack of quality control on home health measurements like at-home testing kits, Dr. Fleg says, blood lipids should be measured by an accredited medical laboratory.
The AHA agrees, recommending that a primary care or family doctor assess blood lipid test results.
Getting an accurate cholesterol number is just one aspect of your overall cardiovascular health. You also have to understand what the number means for you personally.
Informed about your health history, family health history, and other risk factors, your doctor will be able to interpret the results better than a test kit. And by keeping track of all your cholesterol readings, your doctor will be able to catch any changes and advise you the best ways to address them.
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