Research has shown that 6 out of every 10 adults in the UK have a raised cholesterol. The only way to know if you have a raised cholesterol is to have a non-fasting blood or finger-prick test. In order to understand the risk that cholesterol poses to your health it is important to know your numbers and what they mean.
- Total Cholesterol (TC) – the total amount of cholesterol in your blood – ideally 5 mmol/L or less.
- Non HDL Cholesterol – total cholesterol minus your HDL cholesterol and is the sum of all the “bad” cholesterols added together – ideally 4mmol/L or less.
- LDL Cholesterol – the amount of LDL cholesterol or “bad” cholesterol – ideally 3 mmol/L or less.
- HDL Cholesterol – the amount of HDL cholesterol or “good” cholesterol – ideally over 1mmol/L (men) and over 1.2mmol/L (women).
- TC:HDL ratio – This is the TC figure divided by the HDL-C figure. A ratio over 6 is considered high risk – the lower this figure is the better.
- Every 5 years if you are between the ages of 40 and 75
- Every 12 months if you are on cholesterol lowering medication
- If you have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini-stroke (TIA) or peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
- family history of cardiovascular disease
- being overweight or obese
- having high blood pressure or diabetes