1. Health

Cholesterol Quiz: What's Your Number?

True or False
  • 1. Your body needs cholesterol.

    True is the right answer.

    Your body needs a small amount of cholesterol to make certain vitamins and hormones. However, many of us are told to reduce our cholesterol level because we have too much.
  • 2. If told you have high cholesterol, you should wait and see what happens and recheck it in a year.

    False is the right answer.

    High cholesterol must be addressed by lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking, exercising, eating a healthy diet and, if necessary, medication. Ignoring high cholesterol can endanger your health.
  • 3. People should start checking their cholesterol levels at age 40.

    False is the right answer.

    Everyone over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years. However, if you have high cholesterol and your doctor suspects an underlying genetic cause, you may want to have your children under age 20 checked as well.
  • 4. When being tested for high cholesterol, you want a low LDL number and a high HDL number.

    True is the right answer.

    LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol is known as the "bad" cholesterol because it can build up on the walls of your arteries and increase your chance of getting heart disease. The lower your LDL number, the better it is for your health. However, when it comes to HDL (high density lipoprotein), or the "good" cholesterol, the higher the number the better. This is because HDL takes the "bad" cholesterol out of your blood.
  • 5. Doctors recommend that your total cholesterol stay below 250.

    False is the right answer.

    Doctors recommend that your total cholesterol stay below 200. Total cholesterol of 200-239 is considered borderline high, and above 240 is considered high.
  • 6. If you're being treated for high cholesterol, it's okay to stop your medication once it's under control.

    False is the right answer.

    It's important that you continue to take your medication as long as your doctor prescribes it. Stopping medication could cause your cholesterol to return to its original level. Talk with your doctor first before making any changes in your treatment.
  • 7. Smoking, being overweight and lack of exercise are all bad for your cholesterol levels.

    True is the right answer.

    Smoking, being overweight and inactivity all lower HDL, or "good" cholesterol; your good cholesterol should be as high as possible.
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