Northeast Wisconsin – An estimated 38% of American adults have high cholesterol and another 7% of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 have levels over the recommended number, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance your body needs to build cells, but too much cholesterol may raise the risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.; and for stroke, the fifth leading cause of death in the country.
High cholesterol has no symptoms and travels through the body silently until it becomes plaque - a buildup of substances in the walls of arteries. Often, people don’t know their cholesterol is too high and increasing the risk of serious health complications. A simple blood test can check cholesterol levels, and a follow-up conversation with your physician can provide tips to manage the condition.
Cholesterol comes from two main sources: the liver and animal products. Food high in saturated and trans-fats also contribute to high cholesterol levels by causing the liver to overproduce the substance.
HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls offer four ways to lower your cholesterol, as also recommended by the American Heart Association:
- Eat a heart-healthy diet
- The best way to lower your cholesterol is to reduce your intake of saturated fat and trans-fat. A heart-healthy diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts and non-tropical vegetable oils, while limiting red and processed meats, sodium and sugar-sweetened foods and beverages.
- Become more physically active
- At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week is enough to lower both cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Quit smoking
- By quitting, smokers can lower their bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase their good cholesterol (HDL) levels. Click here to learn more about quitting smoking.
- Lose weight
- Being overweight or obese tends to raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. A weight loss of 5% to 10% may improve cholesterol numbers significantly.
Most healthy adults should have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. Some, who have heart disease, diabetes or a family history of high cholesterol need to have it checked more often. Learn more, and take a high cholesterol risk assessment at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol/what-your-cholesterol-levels-mean
About HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center
HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center have been delivering quality health care to Green Bay and its surrounding communities since 1888. With HSHS St. Vincent being the largest tertiary care hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s location on Green Bay’s west side, patients from Northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan benefit from a comprehensive range of services that include cancer care, women’s services, emergency and trauma care, preventive care across the lifespan, digestive health, orthopedic, cardiac care, neurosciences, rehabilitation and pediatrics. Affiliates of Hospital Sisters Health System, the hospitals primary purpose is to continue Christ’s healing love through the delivery of competent and compassionate health care in an environment sensitive to the needs of all people. Both hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
About HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital
HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital has been delivering high quality health care to Sheboygan and its surrounding communities since 1890. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital provides a comprehensive range of services that include cancer care, women’s services, 24-hour emergency care, digestive health, orthopedics, cardiac, home health and hospice care. The hospital’s primary purpose is to continue Christ’s healing love through the delivery of high quality and compassionate health care in an environment sensitive to the needs of all people. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. An affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System, we draw on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as we move to continue serving the health care needs of our area in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. To learn more, visit www.stnicholashospital.org.
About HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital serves Oconto Falls and the surrounding communities as a federally designated critical access hospital with a 24-hour emergency department; inpatient and outpatient surgical and diagnostic services; cancer care; therapy and rehabilitation; wound care; the Almost Home Swing Bed program; and more. It was founded as Oconto Falls City Hospital in 1921 and became HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in 2014 when it joined Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS). As an affiliate of HSHS, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital draws on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as it serves the health care needs of the region in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital also has five rural health center locations in affiliation with Prevea Health in Gillett, Lena, Mountain, Oconto Falls and Suring; and operates HSHS Pharmacies in Gillett and Oconto Falls, and HSHS Prescription Services (remote dispensing sites) in Lena, Mountain and Pulaski. In 2022, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital was named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the U.S. by The Chartis Center for Rural Health. For more information about St. Clare, please visit: www.stclarememorial.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states – Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.