Symptoms of High Cholesterol
Should I Be Concerned?
Having a high cholesterol level is not, in itself, a disease. However, it is recognised that people with a high cholesterol level are more prone to heart attacks and strokes.
1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop heart disease at some time in their lives. You can reduce the risk of having a heart attack and increase your enjoyment of life by lowering your cholesterol level and leading a healthy lifestyle.
Symptoms of High Cholesterol Levels
Part of the problem with cholesterol is that there are no physical symptoms. Many people will have high blood cholesterol levels and be completely unaware of this fact.
In the USA, approximately 107 million adults have a cholesterol level which is considered to fall into the “borderline to high” risk category. Of these 107 million people, just under 38 million are firmly in the “high risk” category”. That’s about a third of the population.
It's a similar story in the UK where the average male level is 5.5 mmol/litre and the average female level is 5.6 mmol/litre - compared with the UK government's recommended level of 5.0 mmol/litre. A level of 6.0 mmol/litre is considered to be high and is a risk factor for arterial disease. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) estimates that 70% of UK residents over the age of 45 have high cholesterol and that almost half of all deaths from coronary heart disease in Britain are due to raised cholesterol.
The only way to tell whether or not you have a high cholesterol level is to have a test performed. If you are over 20 years of age you should have your cholesterol level checked at least once every 5 years. If you are in a higher risk category, or if your doctor thinks it necessary, you may be well advised to have your cholesterol level checked on a more frequent basis.