Cholesterol Control

What is Cholesterol?
  1. Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance, made by the liver to protect nerves, producing cell membranes and certain hormones
  2. However, excess cholesterol can deposit in the arteries and form plaque which eventually leads to coronary artery disease
  3. Most of the cholesterol is made by the body and some cholesterol comes from foods such as eggs, meats and dairy products
  4. There are 3 types of cholesterol:
    • Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) – usually known as bad cholesterol
    • High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) – usually known as good cholesterol
    • Triglycerides are a form of fat mainly obtained from our daily diet

What Should My Cholesterol Level Be?


Cholesterol
Desirable Level
Total Cholesterol
< 5.17 mmol/L
HDL
> 1.03 mmol/L
LDL
< 3.36 mmol/L *
Triglycerides
< 1.71 mmol/L
Reference: American Heart Association
* Your doctor may set other targets for you if you have heart disease or diabetes

What Causes high Blood Cholesterol?
  1. Diet that is high in saturated fat and cholesterol
  2. Overweight
  3. Inactive lifestyle
  4. Older age
  5. Hereditary
  6. Smoking

What are the Consequences of High Blood Cholesterol?

There are usually no signs or symptoms of high blood cholesterol. Many people do not know that their cholesterol level is high!

The complications of high cholesterol are:
  • Strokes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic kidney disease

When Should I Start Having My Cholesterol Level Checked?
  1. Men aged 35 and above
  2. Women aged 45 and above
  3. Or you have any of the following risk factors:
    • History of heart attack
    • A family history of heart disease
    • Smoker
    • History of high blood pressure or diabetes
    • Overweight 

What Should I Do If My Cholesterol Level is High?
  1. Change of lifestyle
    • Exercise at least 30 minutes per session, 3 times a week
    • Maintain a healthy body weight
  2. Cut down on foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol
    • Choose lean cuts of meat and cut off visible fat
    • Use less butter, margarine, mayonnaise and cream while cooking
    • Choose whole grain bread and cereals
  3. Quit smoking as smoking lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol) which may increase your risk of heart disease

Note: 
  • Kidney disease is a silent killer! Signs and symptoms occur late in kidney disease.
  • Screening tests are vital, especially if you are at high risk.
  • The progression of kidney disease can be slowed or stopped if detected earlier.

** This information is provided by the National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia (Yayasan Buah Pinggang Kebangsaan Malaysia). All Information is intended for educational purposes only. Please consult your doctor for further information.

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