You should lower your cholesterol if it is too high. This is even true if you are under age 40. You can lower your high cholesterol by leading a healthy lifestyle. This includes a heart-healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. You should also reduce the amount of salt and sugar you eat. Regular exercise can help, too. This is not enough for some people. They may need to take statins, a medicine that lowers cholesterol.

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Lowering cholesterol lowers the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Keeping your weight at normal levels and not smoking also lowers risk. Adults with heart disease or who have very high cholesterol levels (LDL cholesterol over 190 mg/dL) should take medicine. Statins are the first choice to help lower cholesterol. This includes people who are under 40 years of age.

People with LDL cholesterol levels less than 190 mg/dL may also need medicine. This decision is based on your lifetime risk of heart attack, stroke, or blood vessel disease. Risk is highest for people with these factors:

  • smoking
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • obesity
  • diabetes

Talk to your doctor to see if you should take a statin or other medicine to lower your chances of a heart attack or stroke.

Lower your cholesterol and lower your risk of heart attack and stroke!