Cholesterol can be confusing. But understanding it could help you live a longer, healthier life.
So in honor of Cholesterol Education Month, we asked a pair of experts to clear up five common questions.
Do my blood cholesterol numbers matter?
“The answer is yes,” said Dr. Neil Stone, Bonow Professor in Medicine-Cardiology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
Studies show healthy people with LDL levels of 100 mg/dL or below tend to have lower rates of heart disease and stroke, supporting a “lower is better” philosophy, according to cholesterol guidelines issued by the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association in 2018.
Older recommendations emphasized targeting specific cholesterol numbers. But today, doctors use cholesterol tests as part of a personalized assessment of overall cardiovascular risk. Those with the highest risk have the most to gain from cholesterol-lowering, said Stone, who was vice chair of the task