September is National Cholesterol Education Month

September is National Cholesterol Education Month. Cholesterol management is essential to reduce risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. Seventy-one million American adults have high cholesterol, but only one-third control their cholesterol levels.ABCS text graphic_v4

The Cardiovascular Health Part 1 BPIP introduced the Million Hearts® initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes with a focus on the ABCS. On November 1, the Cardiovascular Health Part 2 BPIP will be released with the focus on cholesterol management and smoking cessation.

It is important to teach our patients, staff, and their families about managing their cholesterol levels. Here are four lifestyle changes that can lower cholesterol levels including:

Healthy diet

  • Avoid saturated fats and trans fats, use polyunsaturated fats, and increase fiber
  • Watch for next week’s blog by Karen Sandusky, RDN, on “Nutritional Education in the Homecare Setting”

Regular exercise

  • Perform moderate-intensity for 2 ½ hours a week for adults
  • Assist older patients with selecting exercises that is appropriate for their functional limitations
  • Look for an upcoming blog on exercise and physical activity for older people

Healthy weight

  • Lose weight if obese or overweight

Stop smoking

  • Quit as soon as possible

Also emphasize the importance of following the primary practitioner’s advice, adherence to medications (if ordered), and obtaining labs as ordered for cholesterol management.

Click here for more information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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