Check your cholesterol level as soon as possible.


High cholesterol levels are an established risk factor for developing atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. They can also lead to stroke if they pool in certain parts of the body.

Your goal is to maintain a low level of cholesterol. However, as people age over the years, chances of experiencing dyslipidemia, a condition characterized by abnormal levels of various kinds of lipids in your blood, are increasing. There are three types of lipoproteins in the human body, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides.

Professor Tan Huay Cheem, a cardiologist at the National University Heart Centre in Singapore, explained that Human beings are born with low levels of cholesterol. It can increase with age and eating habits.

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The low-density lipoprotein or "bad" cholesterol level is usually around 30 to 70 milligrams per deciliter for newborn children. By the age of 20, this level rises to over 100 milligrams per deciliter.

The recommended LDL level in Singapore is 130 to 140 milligrams per deciliter. However, in 2019, the average level among newly diagnosed high-cholesterol patients was 186 milligrams per deciliter.

Cholesterol levels you should maintain
It's recommended that people start monitoring their cholesterol levels at the age of 40, according to Dr. Ian Phoon, a family physician at the SingHealth Polyclinics.

Aside from family history, Phoon also noted that it's important to start screening for other risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure when you're 30 years old.

Professor Tan said it's also important to start screening for high cholesterol levels when you're 18 years old. This can help prevent the development of conditions such as familial hypercholesterolemia. "Patients who are born with genetically high cholesterol conditions (more on familial hypercholesterolemia later) can even develop coronary artery disease in their teenage years," Professor Tan explained.

Singapore Health Promotion Board recommends keeping your cholesterol level as follows.

  • Total cholesterol > Less than 200mg/dL
  • HDL cholesterol > Greater than 40mg/dL
  • LDL cholesterol > Less than 130mg/dL
  • Triglycerides > Less than 150mg/dL

According to Tan, cholesterol plays a crucial role in producing vitamin D and the enzymes needed for digesting fats. He noted that even though maintaining a low cholesterol level is ideal, it's still essential to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

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You can lower your cholesterol levels through various means, such as following a healthy diet and reducing the amount of food you consume.

Moreover, if you really want to lower your cholesterol levels, avoid doing a keto diet, relying on exercise alone, and expecting results too soon. It takes time and sustained efforts to keep your cholesterol levels as low as possible.



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