September 8, 2011
State Health Department Encourages Testing for High Cholesterol, Which Can Lead to the Number One Cause of Death
Roughly 1 in 6 Americans has high cholesterol
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is encouraging people to get their blood cholesterol checked during September, National Cholesterol Education Month, and take steps to lower it if it is high. High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease, which is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. Each year, more than a million Americans have heart attacks, and about a half million people die from heart disease according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
“Cholesterol builds up slowly, over time, and many people may not be aware their total cholesterol level is rising, putting them at risk for heart disease,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold. “I always tell people to get their cholesterol levels checked at least every five years and to make sure their LDLs – “L” for lousy – are low, and HDLs – “H” for healthy - are up. Don’t wait, get your cholesterol checked during National Cholesterol Education Month.”
According to studies by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, for every one percent a person lowers their total blood cholesterol, they can reduce their risk of a heart attack by two percent.
For some people, high cholesterol levels may continue despite losing weight, eating healthy and exercising. These people should check with a health care provider who may recommend using medication.
This September, ask your health care provider about a simple blood test to check your cholesterol.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has two programs designed to lower heart disease and cholesterol.
For more information, call 217-782-3300, TTY: 800-547-0466 or log onto www.idph.state.il.us/heartstroke.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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