Specialists say key to preventing heart disease is knowing cholesterol levels



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SALT LAKE CITY — Heart Disease is the number one cause of death in the United Sates. One person dies of heart disease every 33 seconds, but there is a simple test available to lower the risk.

Cardiologist Dr. Kent Meredith tells patients that to minimize their chances of getting heart disease, they need to be aware of their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

"You need to go and get your blood pressure checked and your cholesterol and your blood sugar," Dr. Meredith said. "You need to know what those are."

Specialist Maria Black said that knowing your levels greatly increases your chance of preventing heart disease for you and your family members.

"Knowing where you stand gives you the first step in preventing or reducing the risk of heart disease in yourself and in your family," Black said.

One of the basic tips is knowing that if you have a cholesterol level higher than 200, you are risk of heart disease.

The American Heart Association said that if people knew their levels and took action, it could reduce heart disease in the country by 80 percent.

"If something's not right, start taking steps to see what needs to happen," said Cheri Stater, director for Go Red for Women.

Black at Intermountain said it is crucial to get your levels checked by a doctor at least once a year.

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Lori Pritchard

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