According to Nurse Nuttall, a poor understanding of high cholesterol is a widespread issue. She said: “I think there is a lack of understanding in the general public that anyone can have high cholesterol, and I mean anyone. If you’re young, slim, or have a healthy lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you don’t have high cholesterol.”
High cholesterol often doesn’t show any symptoms, which means that many people “don’t even start to think about their levels until they have a serious health issue such as a heart attack”, according to Nuttall.
She added: “If you have a family history of heart disease, or have suffered a cardiovascular event, knowing your levels and how to manage them can help your heart health and prevent another event. So don’t wait until you’ve had a heart attack to worry about your cholesterol.
“The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is through a blood test. If you have had a heart attack or stroke, or any form of cardiovascular event, then you should be having your cholesterol checked every year.
“If you haven’t had any of these and are aged 40-74 then you might be eligible for an NHS Health Check. This is provided for free every five years, which includes a cholesterol test, with most being undertaken in GP surgeries or local pharmacies.”