Everyone has an extremely busy schedule and with the holiday season in full swing, chances are your health may not be as high on your priority list as sipping eggnog or braving long lines at the mall. You may want to reconsider and make some time for your health because now more than ever, there’s new information that indicates it’s important to talk to your physician about your cholesterol – all of your cholesterol.

While you may be familiar with LDL “bad cholesterol” and HDL “good cholesterol,” triglycerides are a third, equally important component of your lipid profile. Triglycerides are a lipid, or type of fat, found both in blood and in certain foods. High triglycerides (less than or equal to 150 mg/dL) are associated with increased risk for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes. In fact, studies have shown that the risk of developing heart disease doubles when triglyceride levels are above 200 mg/dL.

A new 30-year analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey database conducted by the National Lipid Association indicates that while Americans are doing a better job of managing LDL, the percentage of adults with high triglycerides has doubled, leaving many people at risk for potentially life-threatening events such as heart attack or stroke. Results of the analysis were presented at the American Heart Association’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Researchers note that one possible explanation for the spike in triglycerides may be the rising rates of obesity, with nearly one-third of Americans classified as obese. The analysis shows a strong relationship between obesity and high triglycerides, as both rates have doubled over the past 30 years. Recent studies show that this combination may even be deadly. In fact, women between the ages of 40 and 60 are nearly five times more likely to die of heart disease if their waist size is greater than 35 inches in addition to having high triglycerides.

“This triglyceride trend is troubling and shows that patients and physicians need to more closely monitor all three lipids,” says Dr. Jerome Cohen of St. Louis University School of Medicine and author of the study. “Patients may need to make lifestyle changes to achieve healthy levels and in some cases medication may be necessary.”

Take time out to learn about your cholesterol and be sure to get your triglycerides checked. Speak with your physician about all of your cholesterol levels and if they aren’t within recommended ranges, discuss lifestyle changes like nutrition, weight loss and exercise, as well as medication options that may help you achieve your cholesterol goals. For some, achieving healthy lipid levels this may be as simple as trimming your waistline before you trim the tree! – Courtesy of ARAcontent.

For more information on lipids and tips for healthy living, talk to your doctor and visit www.LearnYourLipids.com.

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