Postmenopausal women are at risk for high cholesterol

News
bacon_534729

 

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Cholesterol is a natural component in everyone’s blood. But when you have too much of it, there can be serious health consequences. High cholesterol can be the cause of heart disease—the number one killer of women.

Some cholesterol is necessary, but excess bad cholesterol can lead to fatty deposits, or plaque buildup, in the arteries, blocking blood flow. 

“High cholesterol can not only cause heart attack but also can cause strokes, a lot of vascular disease. Once the damage is done, it’s sort of a little bit too late so once the damage is done so prevention is very important here,” said Dr. Alfonso Prieto with Albany Associates in Cardiology with St. Peter’s Health Partners.

Part of prevention is knowing your risk. 45% of women over the age of 20 have elevated cholesterol, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.  But 76% of women have no idea what their levels are, according to a survey done by the American Dr. Alfonso Prieto says that can be a problem as women age. 

“After menopause, cholesterol levels tend to go up so it’s very important to get in checked around that time,” he said. 

Women who go through menopause early, before age 40, or have a history of the pregnancy complication, preeclampsia, are also at higher risk. 

“It’s probably a combination of genetics and environmental causes, so diet is extremely important,” said Dr. Prieto. 

A healthy lifestyle is key in combatting high cholesterol.  

“Low saturated fats diet is very important that lowers your input of this bad cholesterol,” he said. 

Add fatty fish, nuts, olive oil, fruits and veggies, and lean protein to the shopping list.

Dr. Prieto said to avoid, “saturated fats, bacon, all the quote on quote ‘good stuff.’” 

Limit your intake of fatty beef, butter and cheese, poultry with skin, sweets, and packaged snacks. 

Statins are the drugs most commonly prescribed for high cholesterol, but since poor diet and obesity are the main risk factors of high cholesterol, it’s possible that a change in lifestyle can get you off the medication.   

Remember that elevated cholesterol doesn’t cause any symptoms until it causes a medical emergency, like a heart attack, so it’s important to get your levels checked every 5 years. You should get check more often if you have risk factors.  

Statins are the most prescribed drugs for high cholesterol, but since poor diet and obesity are the main risk factors of high cholesterol, it’s possible that a change in lifestyle can get you off the medication.    

Remember that elevated cholesterol doesn’t cause any symptoms until it causes a medical emergency, like a heart attack, so it’s important to get your levels checked every 5 years. You should get check more often if you have risk factors.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download our news app

App Store Link
Google Play Link

Latest PODCAST episode

More PODCAST: On the Story with Trishna Begam
CHECK OUT OUR NEW APP FEATURES

Latest COVID-19 News

More COVID-19