When it comes to your cholesterol numbers, specifically your bad cholesterol, do you know what your numbers are and what they mean for your overall health? A new poll called Cholesterol Counts is now available online and is designed to reveal what bad cholesterol is, how many people actually know if they’re at risk for high cholesterol and help spread knowledge and awareness.
Cholesterol Counts is a collaboration between Sanofi US, Regeneron, leading patient and professional cardiovascular organizations Foundation of the National Lipid Association (FNLA), and the Mended Hearts and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) to measure how much Americans know about their cholesterol.
Cardiovascular Disease specialist Dr. Ralph Vicari and Michele Packard-Milam, the executive director of Mended Hearts and Mended Little Hearts, have reviewed the results of the poll so far and are here to teach you what bad cholesterol really means for you.
About 71 million Americans have high levels of LDL-C, which is bad cholesterol, and despite changes in their diet or using medication, many remain at risk for heart attacks and strokes.
“LDL-C is directly linked to heart attacks and strokes. The higher it is, the higher the risks,” says Dr. Vicari. He says from the poll they discovered that only 12 percent of Americans known what their cholesterol numbers actually are.
But surprisingly, only 35 percent of women who took the poll expressed personal concern over their cholesterol, whereas 50 percent of men did. Why? Well, Packard-Milam has a couple ideas.
“Women are less concerned because they care more for other people’s health than their own and they may see heart disease as more of a ‘man's’ disease, which is completely untrue. Heart disease for women especially increases after menopause,” she says.
Dr. Vicari says you should be pro-active about your cholesterol. You can take medication but you also should eat an appropriate diet that’s low in calories and sat fat and exercise at least one hour every other day.
Want to learn more and see if you know your cholesterol? Take the poll at CholesterolCounts.com and talk to your doctor about your numbers!