What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in our blood. It is a necessary part of our cells and body, but too much can be bad for us.
Why is knowing your cholesterol level important?
High cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, as it can contribute to development of heart attack and stroke.
What does my total cholesterol result mean?
High cholesterol is considered an indicator of cardiovascular disease risk. For adults age ≥20 years of age, the desirable level is less than 200 mg/dL. Values of 200 to 239 mg/dL are borderline high risk, and values above 239 mg/dL are considered high risk for cardiovascular disease. If your value is above 200 mg/dL you should consult with your physician.
For adolescents under 20 years of age, the desirable level is less than 170 mg/dL. Values of 170 to 199 mg/dL are borderline high risk, and values above 199 mg/dL are considered high risk for cardiovascular disease. If your value is above 170 mg/dL, you should also consult with your physician.
Causes of high cholesterol
There are many different contributing factors to high cholesterol. Lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking, and obesity can lead to elevated levels. However, some people inherit genes that cause them to have high cholesterol despite their diet and lifestyle (familial hypercholesterolemia).
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet can help you avoid high cholesterol.
How do I check my cholesterol?
Once you donate blood with Carter BloodCare, you will receive results showing your non-fasting total cholesterol, blood pressure, blood type, pulse, and hemoglobin. Test results provided by Carter BloodCare are meant to be a screening guide to better understand your health and should not be viewed as a diagnosis. Log in to your account to view the results.
For more information on cholesterol, visit the American Heart Association.