The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. has high cholesterol. You can have high cholesterol and not know it. There are no signs. The only way to tell is to get it checked. If your cholesterol level is high, you may be at risk for developing heart disease or stroke.
It’s important to get your cholesterol level tested. A blood test will give you information about your cholesterol numbers. Your total cholesterol is a measure of the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. There are other specific types of cholesterol, all of which have different effects on your health. Here is what to know about them:
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is known as “the bad cholesterol.” Too much LDL can build up in your blood vessels. High levels of LDL may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Lowering your LDL may help reduce your risk.
- HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is also called “good cholesterol” because it helps remove the LDL or bad cholesterol out of your arteries. High HDL levels might lower your heart disease risk.
- Triglyceride is a type of fat found in your blood. If your triglyceride levels are high, you have an increased risk for heart disease and stroke.