According to the Global Burden of Disease, nearly a quarter i.e. 24.8% of all deaths in India are due to heart diseases where among Indians, causes of concern are early age of onset, rapid progression and high mortality rate but additionally, high levels of cholesterol can significantly increase the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. Health experts insist that now, more than ever, it is your heart’s call to action for informed living because typically, high cholesterol symptoms are hard to detect as they do not create any noticeable symptoms but create complications as the level increases.
It is important to keep low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), often referred to as “bad cholesterol”, levels in check as elevated LDL-C can contribute to the formation of plaque in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart diseases like heart attacks and stroke. To protect your heart, it is crucial to understand and know your target LDL-C levels.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle on World Heart Day, Dr Rahul Sharma, Additional Director Cardiology at Fortis Escort Heart Institute and Research in Jaipur, said, “As a cardiologist, I have seen the importance of cholesterol management to prevent heart diseases. While diagnosing patients I have noticed that a significant number of patients with heart diseases have high cholesterol levels, which makes it crucial to understand and maintain your cholesterol levels, including HDL-C (good cholesterol) and LDL-C (bad cholesterol), as many patients are unaware of the link between cholesterol and heart diseases. Regular check-ups to know your LDL-C levels are essential and it is crucial to discuss treatment plans with a cardiologist to help maintain one’s overall well-being and healthy heart.”
What is the link between cholesterol and a healthy heart?
Cholesterol levels play a significant role in heart health. It is a waxy, fat-like substance necessary to make hormones and vitamin D, and to help you digest food. Your body produces cholesterol and it’s also found in few sources of food.
Are Indians more prone to cholesterol-linked heart problems?
Indians are significantly affected by cardiovascular disease, making it a major health concern in the country. Cholesterol problems are very common among South Asians due to genetic risk, lack of physical activity and suboptimal dietary habits. According to the Indian Heart Association, LDL and total cholesterol levels among Indians are higher in comparison to other Asians. Additionally, the high prevalence of hypertension and diabetes further aggravate the risk of cardiovascular complications. Prioritising cholesterol management and maintaining a healthy lipid profile are essential components of overall cardiovascular well-being.
Is a healthy diet enough for a healthy heart?
Consumption of fat-free, organic vegetables does not mean that you’ve got your cholesterol control covered. In reality, cholesterol management needs a comprehensive plan. It involves maintaining a balanced diet, staying physically active, and adhering to medication to keep your LDL-C levels in target range.
Understanding this intricate interplay between cholesterol, particularly LDL-C, and heart diseases underscores the importance of proactive management to mitigate risks and safeguard heart health, talk to your doctor today if you think you may be at risk for high cholesterol so you can take action before it’s too late.