Check your Cholesterol: Major Heart Disease Risk Factor

There are several risk factors for heart disease. Some can be controlled by the individual, while others are uncontrollable.

High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. Since high cholesterol does not have symptoms, it is impossible to know your cholesterol levels without a cholesterol screening. Completing regular cholesterol screenings can have a major impact on your health. Identifying your levels early can help you make changes and lower your risk of heart disease or heart attack.

Cholesterol and Heart Disease Risk

lower cholesterol testing heart diseaseBeginning at age 20, adults should have their cholesterol checked at least every five years. As you get into your 30s and 40s, that frequency may increase. The frequency of your cholesterol testing may depend on whether or not you have any of these additional heart disease risks:

  • Family history of heart disease, defined as a parent or sibling with early heart disease (men before age 55, women before age 65)
  • Age – Men 45 and older and women 55 and older (for women, the increased risk appears after menopause, when the body’s estrogen levels decrease)
  • High blood pressure (140/90 or higher)
  • Diabetes
  • Tobacco use
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • A body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher. BMIs of 18.5 to 24.9 are in the normal range. A BMI less than 18.5 is considered underweight and may be unhealthy for other reasons. BMIs of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight and BMIs of 30 or over are in the obese range.
  • Metabolic syndrome – This collection of symptoms also increases risk for heart disease, in addition to diabetes and stroke. A person is considered to have metabolic syndrome if they have any three of these five characteristics:
    • Abdominal obesity
    • High blood pressure
    • High fasting blood sugar
    • High triglycerides
    • Low high-density lipoproteins (HDL, or “good” cholesterol)

Being proactive is the best form of prevention for heart disease. When you actively seek information about your health, make healthy choices and educate yourself, you lower your risk of having a heart attack or being diagnosed with heart disease.

When Should You Test Your Cholesterol?

If you are at very high risk of having a heart attack, you may need to be checked more often than normal. Regular cholesterol screenings can help you learn the status of your health. These screenings can indicate changes that you may need to make. A medical professional can use the cholesterol data for diagnosis and treatment. Cholesterol screening doesn’t have to be complicated. You can take responsibility of your health by choosing to test your cholesterol levels. Test Smartly Labs helps you take that responsibility by offering affordable testing at national facilities.


  1. The smartest thing you can do yourself is to keep up with your health. did not know that tobacco use could affect your cholesterol. Good to know.

  2. Great advice! I think it’s also crucial to change your lifestyle even if you’re unaware of high cholesterol! If you don’t get the chance to be active during the day, make sure you at least get out for a while and walk after work or jog when you wake up in the morning–things like those can really make a big difference. Think about everything in terms of “the long run”; if you do a little bit more each day to prevent unhealthy outcomes, you will almost always be in better health!

  3. Thank you so much for the tips to get out and get screened! I’ll definitely take your advice and check–just to be safe! Keeping a regular exercise regimen is important to your cardiovascular health; be sure you get out and help your body maintain itself–and don’t hesitate to eat healthier because that can make a WORLD of difference! Informative post!

  4. I’m fortunate to have a healthy body and no cholesterol problems, but I attribute that to working here at TITLE Boxing Club. It’s my goal to help everyone in their fitness journey and I enjoy seeing the look of satisfaction on someone’s face after completing an intense POWER HOUR workout! Keep up the hard work and be sure to get your cholesterol checked if you haven’t done so recently.

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