Frequently Asked Questions

A question mark stop sign sitting on an open roadQ: Do I need to worry about lowering my blood cholesterol now that I’m over 65?

A: Yes. Older Americans have the Nation’s highest rate of coronary heart disease (CHD) and can benefit greatly from lowering elevated cholesterol. Cholesterol lowering also has been shown to reduce the risk of strokes. For seniors who do not have heart disease, cholesterol lowering will reduce their high risk of developing CHD. Older Americans should have their cholesterol numbers (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides) measured once every 5 years. Older Americans should keep their cholesterol low by following an eating pattern lower in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol, being physically active, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Q: Should I be concerned about my child’s blood cholesterol?

A: Yes. Everyone older than age 2 should care about cholesterol to reduce the risk of developing heart disease as an adult. Children as well as adults can improve the health of their hearts by following a low-saturated-fat and low-cholesterol diet, avoiding obesity, and being physically active. Only children from families in which the father or grandfather has had heart disease at the age of 55 or younger, or the mother or grandmother has had heart disease at the age of 65 or younger, or in which a parent has high blood cholesterol (240 mg/dL or higher), should have their cholesterol levels tested. If a child from such a “high-risk” family has a high cholesterol level, it should be lowered under medical supervision, primarily through dietary changes and increased physical activity.

Q: How useful is it to know my cholesterol ratio?