Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and high cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. The CDC cites that about 45 percent of U.S. adults have blood cholesterol levels that are considered high or borderline high – making high cholesterol a risk that your business can’t afford to ignore.
Identifying High Cholesterol
Screening can identify high or borderline high cholesterol levels so that people can seek treatment and make appropriate lifestyle changes to lower levels and reduce disease risk. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends routine screening for men 35 years old and older and women aged 45 and up. Screening may also be appropriate for adults over age 20 who have other risk factors for coronary heart disease. The best screening test for cholesterol uses blood from a person who has fasted for 12 hours, and measures total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Lifestyle changes can be effective in reducing cholesterol levels, but some patients may also need medication. A clinical assessment can help determine the best treatment plan. Losing weight, increasing physical activity, eating nutritiously, eliminating tobacco use and lowering blood pressure can reduce cholesterol and lower one’s risk of heart disease – and all are behaviors that wellness initiatives can support. Considering the high occurrence of heart disease and the lost productivity and substantial medical costs of the disease, it is in employers’ best interest to address this significant heart disease risk factor.
Source: Centers of Disease Control and Prevention