Breakdown of good versus bad types of cholesterol

One of the health issues that many senior citizens worry about is their cholesterol. It is not uncommon to find a senior taking medication that is meant to help lower this level. However, when asking a senior what they believe constitutes high cholesterol, most of these seniors are unsure. They just know that their doctor has recommended medication in order to lower their cholesterol level. It is best for a person to know just what numbers make high cholesterol and what is really too high. Many doctors are eager to put patients onto medications when they can simply change their lifestyle to get their cholesterol back into the spectrum of good.

How High is Too High?

When trying to figure out a set number of what constitutes too high when it comes to your cholesterol, there are several other factors to take into consideration. These factors include the person’s chances of having heart disease, such as if they started with higher cholesterol at a younger age or they have this run in their family. For someone who has heart disease run in their family, having your numbers increase slightly can signal a problem and this number is too high for you.

With this being said, the American Heart Association outlines the levels as to which a person is considered borderline high and high. These numbers are your combined cholesterol numbers for an overall number:

– For those who have cholesterol that is under 200 mg/dL, then they are considered to be in great health
– For cholesterol levels that are 200 mg/dL to 239 mg/dL, the person is considered to be borderline high, meaning that a doctor may prescribe a lifestyle change to ensure that the patient does not enter into the high category.
– For those who have a cholesterol level that is over 240 mg/dL, they are considered to be at high risk for heart disease or stroke, thus medications are often given.

Here is a handy chart that summarizes this information:

Cholesterol LevelGood Or Bad?
Below 200 mg/dLVery Good
200-239 mg/dLPotentially Too High
240 mg/dL and aboveToo High

What Can you Do?

An apple along with a plan to lower cholesterol

There are several things that you can do on your own in order to lower your chances of having high cholesterol. These include:

– Eating health, avoid foods that are high in fats and cholesterol
– Exercise more
– Eats foods that are known for having benefits for your heart
– Quit habits such as smoking or drinking that could be increasing your cholesterol

Your doctor will be ready to talk with you about any lifestyle changes that you can make that is going to help with your fight against cholesterol. Cholesterol can cause heart disease and stroke, and when a senior citizen faces these types of problems, there expectancy of making a full recovery diminishes.

Graph of a heart that has suffered an attack due to elevated cholesterol

Any senior citizen should be having their cholesterol checked at least every six months. For those who are at a higher risk, the time frame for checking is shorter, as in every three to four months. Once a person is categorized as a high risk, cholesterol may be checked each time the person goes to the doctor.