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Cholesterol Numbers: Friend or Foe?
10/28/2011

ALLEN, Texas — Cholesterol numbers can be quite confusing. Which one should be high or low? How can a person ensure that the numbers are normal?

Dr. Clyde Sullivan
Dr. Clyde Sullivan, a cardiologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Allen, says daily exersice can lower LDL numbers.

First, here’s a little Cholesterol 101: the total cholesterol number is the combination of the HDL (good) cholesterol, the LDL (bad) cholesterol, and Triglycerides. According to the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (NHLBI), total cholesterol of less than 200 mg/dL is considered a healthy range. A total cholesterol of 240 mg/dL or higher places a person at a risk of developing coronary disease or a blockage in the arteries.

Further breakdown of cholesterol numbers and their meanings, as defined by the AHA and NHLBI, is as follows:

  • HDL numbers from 60 mg/dL and above which may protect against heart disease
  • LDL numbers should be less than 100 mg/dL; levels of 130 mg/dL and above are considered high, and therefore increase the risk of high cholesterol and artery blockage
  • Triglyceride numbers should fall under 150 mg/dL to maintain healthy total cholesterol levels as higher levels are a risk factor for metabolic syndrome.

“One way to increase HDL numbers and decrease LDL numbers is to exercise every day,” said Dr. Clyde Sullivan, a cardiologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen.

According to the NHLBI, exercising at least 30 minutes per day can be a major factor in reducing total cholesterol levels. The NHLBI also recommends “Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes” (TLC), which combines eating a healthy diet, maintaining healthy weight, and exercising regularly to maintain healthy cholesterol numbers.

To read more about understanding cholesterol, please visit NHLBI/Cholesterol and AHA/Cholesterol Levels. For more information on the hospital’s services and educational classes, visit TexasHealth.org/Allen.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen is a 73-bed acute-care hospital serving the northern Collin County area since 2000. The hospital’s services include women’s services, a Level II neonatal intensive care unit, orthopedics, pediatrics, wound care and sleep medicine. Texas Health Allen, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has more than 500 physicians on its medical staff practicing in more than 25 specialties. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit TexasHealth.org/Allen.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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