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High cholesterol can put you at greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral artery disease. For many, the risk from high cholesterol starts in their 20’s and increases with age.

High cholesterol tends to run in families, so obviously genes play a role, however lifestyle changes play a big role in levels. The only way to know how high your cholesterol levels are is to get a blood cholesterol test called a lipid profile, which is a blood test that can measure the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood.

As you age, cardiovascular health becomes a higher priority.

"Some key things to help your cardiovascular health are maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active," according to Dr. Egger. “Healthy eating and exercise also help you to keep your blood pressure in line.”

“If you are staying trim it probably means you are eating a healthy diet which also helps to keep "bad" LDL cholesterol in check.” He added, “Staying active reduces stress and helps prevent the unhealthy behaviors associated with it, like overeating.”

He also said there are medications that can be prescribed based on your lipid panel findings and other cardiac risk factors. These medications can help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

By making changes to your diet, getting some more exercise, quitting smoking, losing weight (if you need to) and connecting with your physician, you’ll be well on your way to better cardiovascular health that has a lasting effect.

“I recommend you follow the Mediterranean diet and get 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days a week,” he said.

Sound like a lot to take on? Don’t be intimidated. Bringing down your high cholesterol doesn’t have to mean changing your life completely. Rather, start with changing your mindset. Instead of moving away from things, you’re moving toward new habits that will help you create a healthier and more enjoyable future.

Now is always the right time to start taking care of your heart health. Phelps Medical Group is here for you so you can reach your goals and live healthier.  To schedule an appointment at Phelps Medical Group, call 308.995.6111.