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Step up to a Healthier You with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit

Blood Cholesterol

A gloved hand holding a vial containing a blood sampleCholesterol and Your Health

Are You at Risk?

High blood cholesterol does not cause any symptoms. The only way to find out if you have high blood cholesterol is to have your blood tested. The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that you have your cholesterol levels tested if you:

  • Are male and over 40
  • Are female and over 50 or post-menopausal
  • Are overweight
  • Have heart disease, stroke, diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Have a family history of heart disease or stroke
  • Smoke
  • Eat large amounts of saturated and trans fats

Cholesterol Testing

Test

Cholesterol levels can be measured by a simple test involving a blood sample taken from your arm. This test will analyze:

  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • Total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio, which shows how high your HDL or “good” cholesterol is relative to your overall cholesterol levels

Understanding your Test Results

When looking at your cholesterol test results, it’s important to remember there is no “ideal” level for any type of cholesterol. Test results should be considered together with your:

  • Risk factors
  • Medical history
  • Present health

Your doctor is the best person to interpret your test results and advise you if you need to take action. They will help set a target level for you based on your personal risk factors, taking into account your age, total cholesterol level, smoking status, HDL cholesterol level and blood pressure.