- A Visual Guide to Heart Disease
- Medical Illustrations of the Heart Image Collection
- Take the Heart Disease Quiz!
- Patient Comments: Heart Attacks in Women - Prevention
- Patient Comments: Heart Attacks in Women - Signs and Symptoms
- Find a local Doctor in your town
- One woman's heart attack story
- What is heart disease?
- Do women need to worry about heart disease?
- Do women of color need to worry about heart disease?
- What can I do to prevent heart disease?
- What does high blood pressure have to do with heart disease?
- How can I lower my blood pressure?
- What does high cholesterol have to do with heart disease?
- What do my cholesterol and triglyceride numbers mean?
- How can I lower my cholesterol?
- How do I know if I have heart disease?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a heart attack?
- One of my family members had a heart attack. Does that mean I'll have one too?
- Sometimes my heart beats really fast and other times it feels like my heart skips a beat. Am I having a heart attack?
- Should I take a daily aspirin to prevent heart attack?
- Does taking birth control pills increase my risk for heart disease?
- Does using the birth control patch increase my risk for heart disease?
- Does menopausal hormone therapy (HT, HRT, ET) increase a woman's risk for heart disease?
- For more information on heart disease in women
Quick GuideHeart Health: Symptoms of Heart Disease and Heart Attack
What does high cholesterol have to do with heart disease?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in cells in all parts of the body. When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, cholesterol can build up on the walls of your arteries and cause blood clots. Cholesterol can clog your arteries and keep your heart from getting the blood it needs. This can cause a heart attack.
There are two types of cholesterol:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is often called the "bad" type of cholesterol because it can clog the arteries that carry blood to your heart. For LDL, lower numbers are better.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as "good" cholesterol because it takes the bad cholesterol out of your blood and keeps it from building up in your arteries. For HDL, higher numbers are better.
All women age 20 and older should have their blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked at least once every 5 years.
What do my cholesterol and triglyceride numbers mean?
|Total cholesterol level - Lower is better. Less than 200 mg/dL is best.|
|Total Cholesterol Level||Category|
|Less than 200 mg/dl||Desirable|
|200 - 239 mg/dl||Borderline high|
|LDL (bad) cholesterol - Lower is better. Less than 100 mg/dL is best.|
|LDL Cholesterol Level||Category|
|Less than 100 mg/dl||Optimal|
|100 - 129 mg/dl||Near optimal/above optimal|
|130 - 159 mg/dl||Borderline high|
|160 - 189 mg/dl||High|
|190 mg/dl and above||Very High|
HDL (good) cholesterol - Higher is better. More than 60 mg/dL is best.
Triglyceride levels - Lower is better. Less than 150mg/dL is best.