September Is National Cholesterol Awareness Mont

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September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month, and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control urges South Carolinians to know their numbers and adopt healthy lifestyles to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

“High cholesterol affects 37 percent of South Carolina adults, and contributes to more than 4,000 heart disease-related deaths in our state each year,” said Joy Brooks, director of DHEC’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Division. “Knowing your cholesterol numbers can help reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke.”

Brooks said there are two types of cholesterol, “good” and “bad.”

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“It important to understand the difference, and to know the levels of each type of cholesterol in your blood,” Brooks said. “Lowering blood cholesterol results in a two-fold reduction of heart disease risk.”

Brooks recommends following these steps to keep your cholesterol numbers under control:

* Schedule a health screening
* Eat foods low in cholesterol and saturated fat, and free of trans fat
* Maintain a healthy weight
* Be physically active
* Follow your healthcare professional's advice

DHEC’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Division works with community partners and health care systems to improve the cardiovascular health and quality of life of South Carolinians through the prevention, detection and treatment of risk factors; early identification and treatment of cardiovascular diseases; and prevention of recurrent cardiovascular events.

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