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.