Learn How to Fight High Cholesterol in Seniors During National Cholesterol Awareness Month

High cholesterol in seniors presents a real health risk for aging individuals. With all the media focused on good and bad cholesterol in middle-aged Americans, it’s easy to forget that older individuals have to keep an eye on their lipid levels as well. In fact, the risk of having high cholesterol increases as we age, as does the likelihood of having health conditions associated with high cholesterol. One study from 2011 found that 47% of men and 59% of women between the ages of 65 and 74 had higher than recommended levels of “Bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

High cholesterol in seniors has a significant impact on their health. According to the American Heart Association 80 million Americans over 65-years old have some form of cardiovascular disease (or CVD)—many of which are directly related to cholesterol levels. Thankfully, medical research has made great strides concerning the management of “bad” cholesterol in elderly individuals recent years. This marks a tremendous change in thinking as much of the research between 1950 and 1990 really didn’t address older individuals (above the age of 65.)

The first step is, of course, regular monitoring of cholesterol. A simple blood test performed at least once per year can help elderly individuals track their cholesterol and help them adjust their diet, lifestyle, and medication to maintain a healthier lipid balance.

How to Fight High Cholesterol in Seniors

As it turns out, older individuals may benefit from many of the same methods of cholesterol management as their younger counterparts. In fact, European guidelines endorsed by the European Society of Cardiology for treating abnormal cholesterol levels (published in 2013) state “primary prevention in the elderly should not differ from that of younger subjects.”

Of course there are complications that arise in this age group—most notably: decreased mobility, existing disease, or disabilities) but with the help of a medical profession most seniors can create a plan that works for them.

Lifestyle Changes

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