How Can Cholesterol Management Help Prevent Heart Disease in Women?

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Summary & Participants

Heart disease is the number one killer of American women, but it can be prevented. One way is to control your cholesterol levels. Find out how.

Medically Reviewed On: July 21, 2012

Webcast Transcript

ANNOUNCER: Did you know heart disease is the number one cause of death of American women? Did you know it can be prevented? Knowing the risk factors and taking action to prevent them can reduce your chances of developing heart disease. High cholesterol is one major risk factor, so keeping a watchful eye on your levels is important.

NANETTE K. WENGER, MD, FACC: The American Heart Association has put out a very exciting set of guidelines, and that is guidelines for cardiovascular prevention in women. And of course, you know that heart disease is the major health problem for American women, and we must institute prevention.

So what I tell all my women patients is that there are three numbers that they have to know, that their good cholesterol, the HDL cholesterol, should be more than 50; their bad cholesterol, the LDL cholesterol, should be lower than 100; and another blood factor, the triglycerides, should be below 150. So the three numbers you have to remember are 50, 100 and 150. And that's pretty much general.

If you’re perfectly healthy, and young, and have no other risk factors, you’re physically active, you’re not overweight, you don’t smoke, etc., possibly you can do with a higher cholesterol level. But in general, lower is better.