This Article is From Aug 06, 2020

Heart Health: Importance Of Cholesterol Screenings; Know How Frequently You Should Get Yours Done

Heart health: Increase in bad cholesterol can affect your health in several ways. It can put you at a higher risk of heart disease. Cholesterol screening help in controlling the risk. Read here to know how often you should get yourself tested.

Heart Health: Importance Of Cholesterol Screenings; Know How Frequently You Should Get Yours Done

Unhealthy cholesterol levels can put you at a higher risk of heart disease

Highlights

  • Bad cholesterol levels can negatively affect your heart health
  • Diet plays an important role in determining your cholesterol levels
  • Regular exercise can help in regulating cholesterol levels

The heart is an essential organ of the human body. But several conditions can affect the functioning of the heart. These can contribute to chronic conditions. High blood pressure, unhealthy body weight, sedentary lifestyle and more can contribute to a higher risk of heart disease. One of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease is poor cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that may deposit inside the arteries blocking the free-flow of blood. Not just heart, it affects other body parts as well. Unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical activity, smoking, age, family history and unhealthy body weight are some causes behind poor levels of bad cholesterol.

Timely diagnosis and treatment can help control the risks associated with bad cholesterol. Cholesterol screenings at the right time are what you need to ensure good functioning of your heart. But what is the right time to get cholesterol screenings done? What is the importance of cholesterol screenings? How often should get yourself screened? We have got all these covered in this article. Read here to know these.

Heart health: Why cholesterol screenings are important?

Dr. Manish Aggarwal, Senior Consultant Cardiology at Max hospital explains, "High cholesterol leads to plaque build-up in the coronary arteries putting a person at high risk for heart disease. High cholesterol leading to plaque build-up in the coronary arteries does not cause symptoms until the plaque causes significant luminal obstruction of the coronary arteries leading to chest pain and heart attack. Hence, it becomes very essential to get your cholesterol screenings done to get it treated early to negate this plaque build-up in the coronary arteries which would otherwise lead to detrimental outcomes."

Also read: Liver And Cholesterol: Here's The Link; Know Tips To Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels

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Regular cholesterol screenings can help control the risk of heart disease on time
Photo Credit: iStock

Frequency of Cholesterol Screenings

The American Heart Association recommends that all adults 20 Years and older should have their cholesterol and other traditional risk factors for heart disease checked every 4-6 years. This is because plaque deposition is known to start as early as the second decade of life.

"After the age of 40, your doctor would also want to use equations to calculate your 10-year risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event/disease and depending on the 10-year risk profile results decide on the frequency of further cholesterol screening," adds Dr. Aggarwal.

In those patient populations with established cardiovascular disease (those who have already suffered a heart attack, undergone angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery), those with diabetes or family history of heart disease would be advised by their doctors to undergo cholesterol screenings much more frequently (once in every 6-12 month) to target the LDL cholesterol ( bad cholesterol ), adds Dr. Aggarwal.

Healthy lifestyle interventions including exercise, healthy diet (with foods low in saturated fats) and use of medications if suggested by your doctor can help prevent bad cholesterol levels to rise and boost heart health.

Also read: Know Why Your Cholesterol Is High: Best Foods, Lifestyle Tips For Cholesterol By Our Expert

(Dr. Manish Aggarwal - Senior Consultant , Department of cardiology, Max Hospital,Patparganj)

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.