High Cholesterol: Understand Your Risks
Having high blood cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. About 1 of every 6 adult Americans has high blood cholesterol.1
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. But, when you have too much in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.
There are no symptoms of high cholesterol. Many people have never had their cholesterol checked, so they don't know they're at risk. A simple blood test can tell you your level. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent high cholesterol—or to reduce your levels if they are high.
Visit the links on the left to learn more about cholesterol and heart disease, and what you can do to stay healthy.
The CDC Vital Signs program is a call to action each month concerning a single, important public health topic. CDC Vital Signs for February focuses on cardiovascular disease, specifically control of hypertension and cholesterol.
An aortic aneurysm (AA) is a ballooning or dilatation of the aorta, the large artery that carries blood from the heart through the chest and abdomen. AAs are classified according to their location; in the chest, it is called a thoracic AA, in the abdomen an abdominal AA (AAA), and across both areas a thoracoabdominal AA.
Having high blood cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs, but when you have too much, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Most of the sodium we consume is in the form of salt. Too much sodium is bad for your health. It can increase your blood pressure and your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the first and third killers of men and women in the United States each year.
- Schober SE, Carroll MD, Lacher DA, Hirsch R. High serum total cholesterol—an indicator for monitoring cholesterol lowering efforts; U.S. adults, 2005–2006. NCHS data brief no 2, Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2007.