Screening is the key to detecting high cholesterol. Because high cholesterol does not have symptoms, many people do not know that their cholesterol is too high. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol level.

The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that adults aged 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked every 5 years.

You may need to have your cholesterol checked more often if any of the following statements applies to you:

  • Your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or higher.
  • You are a man older than age 45 or a woman older than age 50.
  • Your HDL cholesterol is lower than 40 mg/dL.
  • You have other risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Although the number of people who said they were screened for cholesterol within the previous 5 years increased from 73% to 76% from 2005-2009, only a handful of states have met the 82% Healthy People 2020 objective, and disparities in getting screened persist.