Health & Wellness

Get Your Bad Cholesterol Checked and Cut Your Risk

A US study shows the importance of follow-ups after a heart attack or stroke

By Wendy Haaf


Getting your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol level checked after a heart attack or stroke to screen for a problem could decrease your risk of dying within the subsequent three years by more than three times, according to a US study. A follow-up check can also reduce the chances of a recurrence. The study results were announced at the most recent Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association.

Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, dug into the health records of more than 60,000 patients who had been admitted to one of 22 US hospitals for either health incident. In the three years after hospital admission, 21% of patients who hadn’t had their LDL measured afterward died, versus just 5.9% of those who had received the recommended follow-up testing.

As a result of the study, the researchers concluded that anyone who has had a heart attack or stroke should have his or her LDL cholesterol checked regularly.

Photo: iStock/AndSim.