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High Cholesterol and Men: What are the Health Risks? — an article on the Smart Living Network
February 25, 2010 at 11:34 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

High Cholesterol and Men: What are the Health Risks?

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Knowing the facts about cholesterol can greatly reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke. As one of the number one killers in the United States, simple preventative measure can be taken to ensure your health and well-being.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a substance in your body that is a similar texture to wax. It is the fat that your body needs to function. Cholesterol is naturally present in the body, and is needed to produce many different types of hormones. It is one of the building blocks of cells.

Why is cholesterol so important?

Cholesterol is important due to its direct correlation to heart disease. Having high blood cholesterol can increase your chance of heart disease.

What are the health risks of having high cholesterol?

  • Signs of other health problems
  • Risk factor of heart disease

What can I do the avoid heart disease?

  • Do not smoke, and avoid second-hand smoke.
  • Watch alcohol intake.
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • Participate in physical exercise.
  • Pay attention to overall health issues.

What can I do to keep cholesterol under control?

  • Get cholesterol screenings
  • Eat good foods (low in cholesterol and saturated fat)
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Listen to your health care provider's advice

How does cholesterol differ for men and women?

The cycle of cholesterol is very different for men and women. Young men's cholesterol levels have a tendency to stay the same before and after puberty, where a woman's changes with hormonal influxes. Men also show no mid life changes in cholesterol either.

What affects my cholesterol levels?

There are several things that can affect your levels:

  • Diet. You are what you eat! Having high amounts of fats and cholesterol in your food will give you higher cholesterol levels. Reducing the amount of cholesterol and saturate fat will likely decrease your cholesterol. Maintaining healthy weight is important for overall health, but also has an effect on increasing your cholesterol.
  • Physical activity. Being physically active can lower bad cholesterol.
  • Age and Gender. As you get older, your cholesterol level will generally rise.
  • Heredity. Genetic makeup plays a part in your cholesterol levels. High blood cholesterol can be heredity, and passed on through your family.

What are risk factors that could affect my LDL goal?

  • History of heart disease in the family
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Age (Typically for men, 45 and over)

What causes high cholesterol?

  • Heredity
  • Weight
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Age and sex
  • Alcohol use
  • Mental stress

Source:

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1516

Photo credit: norwichnuts

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