September is National Cholesterol Education Month
When was the last time you got your cholesterol checked? If you can’t remember, it’s time to have a blood profile screening and/or a visit your provider for an annual wellness appointment. It’s a good time to focus on measuring and managing high cholesterol, a major risk for stroke and heart disease—which is the leading cause of death in the US.
High cholesterol has no symptoms, so a person might not know that their cholesterol is too high unless it’s measured by a blood test. Adults aged 20 and older should have their cholesterol levels checked every four to six years. About a third of American adults have high low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol. But fewer than one out of every three adults with high LDL cholesterol have the condition under control.
While some risk factors—such as family history—may be out of our control, there are other ways to reduce or prevent high cholesterol. They include exercising, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and taking medication as prescribed.
Everyone can benefit from knowing their cholesterol numbers and doing what they can to prevent or reverse high numbers. A visit to your healthcare provider, like one of the team at St. Vincent Family Health Center, is often a good place to start. The newest provider in this practice, Dr. Ryan Sullivan, is taking new patients beginning the week of October 18.
For those who wish to proactively manage their health and healthcare expenses, Direct Access Testing (DAT) is available in some places, including the St. Vincent Health lab. With DAT, a patient has the option to order selected lab tests without a physician’s order. The screenings are discounted in price and cash-based. They are not submitted to insurance for reimbursement.
For questions about appointments and services at St. Vincent Health, such as DAT to measure your cholesterol, call 719-486-0230 or visit www.StVincent.Health.