For Immediate Release
September 26, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

September is National Cholesterol Education Month

Topeka-The Kansas Department of Health and Environment encourages Kansans to take steps to manage their cholesterol during National Cholesterol Education Month.  Approximately 640,000 Kansans have high cholesterol. Too much cholesterol in the blood can build up in artery walls and narrow them. This can lead to heart disease and stroke. People with high cholesterol have approximately twice the risk for heart disease as people with lower levels.

“High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. As a result, many people don’t know that their level is high. This is why it’s important for adults to get their cholesterol levels checked every five years,” said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary.

Healthcare providers can do a simple blood test to measure total cholesterol levels.  About 21.5 percent of adult Kansans have never been tested. People at any age can take steps to prevent high cholesterol or reduce their levels. Several factors that can increase your risk of high cholesterol are beyond your control, including age, gender, and genetics. In addition, certain health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can increase your risk. Fortunately, cholesterol can be managed through lifestyle changes, such eating a healthy diet of low-fat and high-fiber foods, getting at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking.

For more information, please contact the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program at (785) 291-3583 or on the KDHE website.