What it is
Everyone has a certain amount of cholesterol – and it’s not always a bad thing. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in all the cells of the body, including blood. There are two kinds of lipoproteins which carry cholesterol through your body: LDL (Low-Density Lipoproteins) or “bad cholesterol” and HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins) or “good cholesterol”.
How it Relates to Diabetes
Diabetics tend to have more cholesterol abnormalities. These variances can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. By managing your cholesterol, especially lowering LDL cholesterol, you reduce your chance of developing cardiovascular disease and early death. In fact, diabetics who lower their LDL cholesterol can reduce their risk of heart attack by up to 42 percent!
The Quality Standard – How to Know You’re Okay
Your health care provider should check your blood fat levels at least once a year. Here’s what the results should say:
- LDL (bad) cholesterol should be less than 100
- If you are at high risk for cardiovascular disease, some organizations have recommended that LDL should be less than 70.
- HDL (good) cholesterol should be more than 40 for men and more than 50 for women.
- Triglycerides should be less than 150
- Total cholesterol should be less than 200
Sometimes diet and exercise aren’t enough to bring cholesterol back to normal, and medication may be needed. Statin drugs are one way your health care provider may try to lower your LDL if it is too high.
What You Can Do
Talk to your doctor about getting your blood cholesterol checked and making sure that it’s in control. He or she may suggest the use of statin drugs. Increasing physical activity and healthy food choices are also important to keep your cholesterol in the right range.
To Learn More
Hope Through Research – You Can Be Part of the Answer!
Many research studies are underway to help us learn about eye diseases. Would you like to find out more about being part of this exciting research? Please visit the following links:
- NIH Clinical Research Trials and You
- Diabetes Studies
- Diabetes Quality & Self Care Studies
- NetWellness Research Center
- ClinicalTrials.gov Explained and Find Studies on ClinicalTrials.gov
- ResearchMatch Explained and Join ResearchMatch
For more information:
Go to the Quality Health Care and You – Diabetes health topic.