Have a Cholesterol Screening at Southcoast Health
Cholesterol screening measures the level of fats (lipids) in your blood. It involves drawing blood for a laboratory test. There are four components of a cholesterol screening:
- Total cholesterol
- HDL or “good” cholesterol
- LDL or “bad” cholesterol
If your doctor asked you to fast before your screening, you will get an accurate result for all four components, as your LDL and Trig values can change when you consume food or beverages.
At Southcoast Health, we help you monitor your wellness through cholesterol screenings throughout the South Coast. Find a primary care physician at a location near you, or stop by our Southcoast Wellness Van to test your cholesterol.
Why Do I Need to Check My Cholesterol?
Cholesterol screenings are important because high cholesterol can be a silent disease, meaning there usually are no symptoms until your health is at risk. Higher-than-normal cholesterol levels form a substance called plaque that can build up along the inner wall of your blood vessels. Over time, plaque damages the arteries, reduces circulation and increases the risk of blood clots.
The American Heart Association recommends regular cholesterol screening every five years starting at age 20. If you are at an increased risk for heart disease, you may need cholesterol screenings more often. Other risk factors for heart disease include:
Regular cholesterol screening helps catch high cholesterol early, before it affects your health. Uncontrolled high cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease, heart attack, carotid artery disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease and kidney disease.
Monitor Your Cholesterol in Fall River, New Bedford & Wareham, MA
Your cholesterol screening will report numbers for your cholesterol levels. Desirable levels look like the following:
- Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter of blood)
- LDL cholesterol less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol greater than 40 mg/dL
- Triglycerides less than 150 mg/dL
Your target levels may be slightly different depending on your risk factors for heart disease. If your numbers do not meet your targets, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or medication to bring your cholesterol to healthy levels.
As part of our wellness and prevention services, Southcoast Health offers cholesterol screenings in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.