Managing Cholesterol Important to Senior Health

by Lois Etienne on December 1, 2010

in Senior Health and Safety

As part of a healthy lifestyle, everyone should get a fasting lipoprotein profile to find out their total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglyceride numbers, according to the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Association reports that total cholesterol will fall into one of three categories:  Desirable — Less than 200 mg/dL; Borderline high risk — 200–239 mg/dL; and High risk — 240 mg/dL and over.

About one-third of American adults are in the borderline category with levels from 200 to 239 mg/dL.  If you’re in this group, or if your HDL level is less than 40 mg/dL, the American Heart Association recommends you have your cholesterol rechecked in one to two years.

Your LDL cholesterol level greatly affects your risk of certain health problems.  The lower your LDL cholesterol, the lower your risk of heart attack or stroke.  In fact, experts report that it’s a better gauge of risk than is total blood cholesterol.  Optimal LDL cholesterol is less than100 mg/dL, according to the American Heart Association.

Diet and exercise can have a positive impact on your cholesterol.  Talk to your doctor about ways you can lower your intake of foods high in saturated fat and how you can incorporate exercise into your routine.

Walking is one of the best exercises for cholesterol control, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute reports.  Thirty minutes a day is recommended by the organization, but if you can’t do that, break your workouts into three 10-minute segments – or do what you can.

Consulting with your physician is the key to controlling your cholesterol.  He or she can help you develop a plan that may include diet, exercise and medication.  When you have that plan in place, enlist the help of a family member or friend.

For more information or to get answers to your questions, please contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office.  We can be reached — anytime day or night – by calling Spokane: 509.835.5898, North/South King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties: 800-4SENIORS (800-473-6476). You can also email us at

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