Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Cholesterol

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Getting your cholesterol tested and wondering what those numbers mean for your heart and your health? Read our cholesterol guide now.

The American Heart Association recommends that all Americans over age 20 get their cholesterol levels tested, generally with a lipid panel, every four to six years. Your doctor may recommend getting your cholesterol tested more frequently in middle age because your overall risk for heart disease starts to rise.

Though some experts dispute the direct link between high blood cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease (CVD), major organizations like the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health) maintain that high blood cholesterol levels play a role in the development of conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease (narrowing of arteries in your extremities).

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