A new grandbaby prompted Cynthia McCloud to take command of her health. And like millions of Americans she decided to get a physical.
“I went to the doctor’s and they checked, well tested me for several things. I was tested for diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol,” says McCloud.
That health screening uncovered issues early enough for McCloud to make potentially life-saving changes in her diet and exercise.
“Take care of yourself. If your body is telling you something, you get signs every day, don’t ignore them,” says McCloud.
Women are most likely to get screened. And overall more adults in this country are getting tested for high cholesterol, with some exceptions. Hispanics and young people are two groups, slipping through the cracks. And it turns out, they have a lot at stake.
“We’ve seen younger and younger people with both diabetes and cardiovascular disease so we are screening for the cholesterol to make sure that were not missing anything early on,” says Dr. Sal Lacagnina, vice president of health and wellness with Lee Memorial Health System.
The American Heart Association reports high cholesterol as one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
“All of those illnesses are killing so many people. It’s anticipated that the next generation will not live as long this current generation if things continue to go the way they are,” says Dr. Lacagnina.
Finding where you stand is as simple as a blood test.
“You should be discussing with your physician each time you go in. ‘Where do I need to be, what should my number be’, so that you can be an educated consumer,” says Dr. Lacagnina.
Taking measure of your cholesterol could be the first step towards a healthy future.