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KentuckyOne Health
Managing Cholesterol is Essential to Reducing Risk of Heart Disease

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

 

For More Information:

Barbara Mackovic, Senior Manager

502.562.7075 or 502.641.5461                                                                                 

barbaramackovic@kentuckyonehealth.org

 

Managing Cholesterol is Essential to Reducing Risk of Heart Disease

 

Louisville, Ky. (Oct. 16, 2013) — Knowing what your cholesterol levels mean is one of the first steps toward the prevention of serious health problems such as heart disease.  KentuckyOne Health is stressing the importance of working with a physician to monitor and treat unhealthy cholesterol levels rather than trying to manage this crucial aspect of your health care alone.

 

Cholesterol is a lipid, or fat, produced by the liver. Every cell in the body contains cholesterol in its outer layer. Everyone needs cholesterol because it is used to produce important vitamins and hormones, but abnormal levels of the two main types are bad for an individual’s overall health.

Cholesterol levels among U.S. adults are some of the most troubling in the world. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

 

  • 71 million American adults have high LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol
  • Only 1 out of every 3 adults with high LDL cholesterol has his or her condition under control
  • Fewer than half of adults with high LDL cholesterol seek treatment from a physician
  • Those with high total cholesterol have nearly twice the risk of heart disease as people with optimal levels

 

LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. It carries cholesterol from the liver to cells. If too much is carried, there can be a harmful buildup of LDL. High LDL cholesterol levels have been shown to cause narrowing of the arteries, as well as a higher risk of heart disease, heart attack, other cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

 

“Good” cholesterol, or HDL (high-density lipoprotein) may help prevent arterial or heart disease. HDL does the opposite of LDL, moving cholesterol away from cells and back to the liver. In the liver, it is either dissolved or expelled from the body as waste. A person’s total score of good and bad cholesterol is generally thought to be unhealthy if it is above 200 mg/dL.

 

“Anyone with high cholesterol should work with their physician to control it,” said Ron E. Waldridge, II, MD, physician executive, KentuckyOne Health Medical Group. “Effective management is especially important for those with other risk factors such as age (over age 45 for men and 55 for women), diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of early heart disease and smoking.”

 

Cholesterol management is different for every patient. General guidelines suggest that LDL levels at 160 and above are too high, and HDL levels at 40 or below are considered to be too low. The qualified health care professionals at KentuckyOne Health are specially trained to test cholesterol using a fasting lipid profile and accurately interpret the results based on an individual patient’s medical history and overall health. KentuckyOne Health providers will then develop a customized treatment plan to most effectively manage cholesterol.

 

“Regular exercise and a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables and fish, but limits saturated fats, are vital to evening out your cholesterol numbers,” said Dr. Waldridge. “But sometimes lifestyle changes aren’t enough. Today, there are some very effective medications on the market, called statins, that have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol. Many people respond well to these treatments, and they can significantly decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke.”

 

The CDC recommends screenings for adults age 20 and older to be screened every five years. More frequent screenings may be required for those in high-risk groups. For more information, or to schedule a cholesterol screening, call your primary care physician.  If you need a primary care physician, please call 888.521.DOCS.

 

About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in early 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital | James Graham Brown Cancer Center.  The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies, with nearly 15,000 employees across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is the largest health system in Kentucky.

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Managing Cholesterol Fact Sheet

 

Cholesterol is a lipid, or fat, produced by the liver. Every cell in the body contains cholesterol in its outer layer. Everyone needs cholesterol because it is used to produce important vitamins and hormones, but abnormal levels of the two main types are bad for an individual’s overall health.

 

Cholesterol levels among U.S. adults are some of the most troubling in the world. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

 

  • 71 million American adults have high LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol
  • Only 1 out of every 3 adults with high LDL cholesterol has his or her condition under control
  • Fewer than half of adults with high LDL cholesterol seek treatment from a physician
  • Those with high total cholesterol have nearly twice the risk of heart disease as people with optimal levels

 

Kentucky ranks above the national average in the occurrence of high blood cholesterol.

 

Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and food. Your liver and other cells in your body make about 75 percent of blood cholesterol. The other 25 percent comes from the foods you eat. Cholesterol is only found in animal products.

 

Cholesterol numbers can be controlled by a number of factors including regular exercise and a healthy diet, which includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and fish, but limits saturated fats.

 

Cholesterol management is different for every patient due to medical history and overall health.

 

The CDC recommends adults age 20 and older to be screened every five years. More frequent screenings may be required for those in high-risk groups.

 

 

 

 

 

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