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Format: 04/24/2014
Format: 04/24/2014

News

WTAE-TV: Know your numbers: High cholesterol is heart disease risk

Friday, December 18th, 2009

The American Heart Association has a "know your numbers" campaign slogan to make sure people know their cholesterol numbers as a risk factor for heart disease.

WTAE Channel 4's Sally Wiggin reported that new research shows the desirable levels that were recently revised to a lower number may go even lower.

Dr. Indu Poornima, a cardiologist at Allegheny General Hospital, said a very low level of LDL or lipoprotein -- the so-called bad cholesterol that clogs arteries -- is present from the moment of birth.

"When a baby is born, the cholesterol, the LDL, is 30 to 40 milligrams. Over years, we built it up to 130, 160, up to 200," Poornima said.

Americans often don't even know their level of bad cholesterol, much less their total numbers, but they usually know their blood pressure.

 

Dr. Indu Poornima examines a patient at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.
 

"I know when it is going up. I keep track of my numbers every day. It is very important when you have hypertension to keep track of your numbers," patient Andrea Beneke said.

"Took it this morning -- 125 over 75," patient Betty Ann Burns said.

"So you know what your total cholesterol is?" Wiggin asked.

"No," Burns said.

To read the rest of the story, visit the WTAE-TV web site.

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