Get the Digits for Heart Health
When should you know your cholesterol numbers? Sooner than you’d think.
Late teens or early 20s, according to Ajay Chander, MD, a CHI Health interventional cardiologist.
“It’s a case of the earlier the better,” Dr. Chander said. “If people don’t come to us until their 30s or 40s, they’ve potentially lost 20 years of being able to prevent plaque buildup.”
An individual with no documented heart disease should aim for an LDL level below 100 and an HDL level above 40 (preferably above 50). Those with heart disease should target an LDL of less than 70, which typically requires the help of medication.
“Most people think they can control it with their diet when, in fact, only 20 to 30 percent of your cholesterol numbers can be influenced by your diet,” Dr. Chander said.