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High Cholesterol

COR Healthcare Medical Associates

Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology & Electrophysiology located in Torrance, CA, Manhattan Beach, CA, San Pedro, CA, Redondo Beach, CA & El Segundo, CA

It’s estimated that more than 95 million adults in the United States have cholesterol levels that are higher than normal. High cholesterol increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The board-certified cardiologists at COR Healthcare Medical Associates in Torrance, San Pedro, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and El Segundo, California, specialize in treating heart disease risk factors and offer lipids checkups and a plan to reduce high cholesterol. For an evaluation, call the Los Angeles office nearest you or select the online booking tool.

High Cholesterol and Lipids Checkup Q & A

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxlike substance found naturally in your body. It’s produced by your liver and is used to make certain hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest food.

Your liver is able to produce all the cholesterol your body needs, which means it’s not an essential nutrient. However, certain kinds of fats — saturated fat and trans fat — found in the foods you eat raises the production of cholesterol in your liver, increasing cholesterol levels in your blood.

High blood cholesterol puts you at greater risk of developing heart disease. The waxy fat can stick to the walls of your blood vessels, creating a substance called plaque. The plaque narrows the artery, affecting blood circulation.

The plaque can also break away from the wall, leading to a blood clot that can block blood flow and cause a heart attack or stroke.

What is a lipids checkup?

A lipids checkup, also called a cholesterol check or lipid profile, is a blood test used to screen for risk factors associated with heart disease. The test looks at:

  • Total blood cholesterol
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
  • Triglyceride levels

If you’re in good health, you should have a lipids checkup every five years starting at 18. You will need more frequent checkups if you have a family history of high cholesterol, you’re overweight, or you smoke cigarettes.

The experienced team at COR Healthcare Medical Associates can determine during your evaluation how often you would benefit from a lipids checkup.

What do my lipid numbers mean?

The board-certified cardiologists at COR Healthcare Medical Associates review the details of your lipids checkup with you so you understand what your numbers mean. For good health, your numbers should be:

  • Total cholesterol: 200 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dl) or less
  • LDL: less than 70 mg/dl
  • HDL: greater than 40 mg/dl
  • Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dl

If your numbers aren’t within normal limits, the team can develop a personalized plan to improve your lipid profile. This can include changes in your diet, an exercise program, and/or medication used to improve your lipid levels.

How is high cholesterol treated?

Treating your high cholesterol will depend on how high your numbers are, as well as your medical history. The board-certified cardiologists at COR Healthcare Medical Associates will first take a conservative approach to improve your cholesterol numbers. That approach will include lifestyle changes.

If your cholesterol fails to improve with lifestyle changes, the team will then prescribe medication to help reduce your high cholesterol.

High cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease. But with the right care, you can take steps to improve your numbers and lower your risk. For comprehensive cardiology care, contact COR Healthcare Medical Associates by phone or online today.