Issue No. 16
Test Your Cholesterol KnowledgeDate: April 25, 2012
Health fairs are convenient places for quick checks such as cholesterol tests. Although pinprick cholesterol tests are fine for broad screenings to evaluate your heart health, they don’t tell the whole story.
“Those tests generally just check total and HDL cholesterol,” says Roger S. Blumenthal, M.D., a cardiologist and director of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. But a high cholesterol level can lead to heart disease by creating blockages in the arteries, so adults older than 20 should have a more in-depth blood test called a lipid profile every five years, and more often if they have risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
An abnormal pinprick test is another reason to ask your doctor about a lipid profile. While you’re at it, discuss why it’s important to get a detailed reading of all the types of cholesterol from the test.
What Should Your Numbers Be?
|Test||Ideal range (mg/dL)|
|Total cholesterol||Less than 200|
|Total triglycerides||Less than 150|
|LDL (“bad”) cholesterol||Less than 130 (the lower the better)|
|HDL (“good”) cholesterol||55 or higher for women, 45 or higher for men|
Watch and listen to Johns Hopkins heart experts discuss prevention of cardiovascular disease. Visit hopkinsmedicine.org/healthseminars. For more information or to make an appointment, call 877-546-1872.
Cholesterol: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Thursday, June 7, 7–8:30 p.m., in Towson
Join Roger Blumenthal, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, to learn about blood pressure and cholesterol and how they affect your health and risk for cardiovascular disease. You’ll learn about the good cholesterol and the bad cholesterol, and how to improve your cholesterol and blood pressure levels through diet, medications and alternative approaches. The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session. Refreshments will be served. Call 800-547-5182 to register.