High Cholesterol

Why Regular Cholesterol Screening Tests are Recommended for Young Adults?

One of the biggest health problems faced by America is that of heart diseases. Though there can be several causes of heart diseases, it is high cholesterol level that is the primary cause of the problem. If you want to avoid heart diseases and its consecutive effects such as a heart attack, stroke, disability or even death, a cholesterol screening test is strictly recommended.

Why do young adults need a cholesterol screening test?

High cholesterol level is a problem that begins in early childhood. During childhood and adolescence, cholesterol starts building in the walls of arteries. In adulthood this cholesterol hardens to become plaque. During adulthood, plaque develops not just in arteries that supply blood to the heart but in arteries that exist through out the body. This process is known as atherosclerosis and cane even lead to a cardiac arrest. To avoid such critical health conditions, it is imperative that young adults, both men and women maintain healthy cholesterol levels .

Testing cholesterol levels in adults

Men and women of all age are recommended a cholesterol screening test at regular intervals by the American Heart Association. People aged and 20 above should have complete fasting lipoprotein profile once in every five years. You are required to not eat anything for 9 to 12 hours before taking the fasting lipoprotein profile test. Fasting before going in for the test helps get an accurate measurement of your cholesterol levels.

The fasting lipoprotein profile test measures the following:

* LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein, which is bad cholesterol  
* HDL or High Density Lipoprotein, which is good cholesterol
* Triglycerides , which is another form of fat
* Overall cholesterol levels

If your lipid profiles are low or turn out to be normal on every testing, you can decrease the frequency of testing. On the other hand, if your lipid levels are high, frequent testing of cholesterol levels is advised.

While the American Heart Association favors a fasting lipid profile test, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) advocate a non fasting test. As per AAFP and the ACPM, you can begin with a non fasting test and then later on proceed to fasting test in middle age.

They also recommend:

* Regular lipid disorder checking for all men of 35 years of age and women of 45 years of age.
* Young adults with risk factors such as obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes should be regularly screened.
* People who smoke or have a family history of heart diseases should also go in for regular lipid profile testing.

So irrespective of the age you are in, you should go in for a regular cholesterol screening test to avoid future problems.