Fargo VA Health Care System
September is National Cholesterol Education Month
Why Cholesterol Matters!
As the summer slowly comes to an end and the new school year begins it's time to educate yourself on the effects of cholesterol on your health. High cholesterol is one of the main controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. So as you take this time to think about your cholesterol and whether you are at risk ask yourself two questions. Do I know my numbers? Am I at risk?
Know Your Numbers
If you don't know your blood cholesterol levels, make a pledge to get tested in September. Cholesterol is measured by a ratio of blood cholesterol in milligrams (mg) to deciliter (DL) of blood. Your doctor will most likely look at scores for total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides.
Know Your Risk Factors
It's important to know whether or not you are at risk for heart disease. Risk factors for heart disease include things such as smoking, high blood pressure, low HDL, high LDL, diabetes, family history, and age. The greater the number of these risk factors you have, the greater your risk for heart disease. In addition, people with a previous history of heart attack, stroke, carotid artery disease or artery blockage in the neck, and peripheral artery disease or blockages in the extremities such as arms and legs, are considered at high risk for heart disease.
Use My HealtheVet to Track Your Cholesterol
If you have had your cholesterol checked at the VA, did you know that you can see your results from home by using My HealtheVet? If you haven't already, register for an account at www.myhealth.va.gov, then get it in-person authenticated by visiting the Fargo VA hospital or nearby clinic. The in-person authentication process will only take a few minutes. If you have any questions about My HealtheVet contact Penny Ripperger at 701-232-3241, dial 9 then ext: 4420.