September is Cholesterol Education Month, and pharmacists play an important role in educating their community on this often overlooked topic. Take this month as a reminder to inform patients of important facts about their heart health and tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some fast facts about cholesterol…
–Over 90 million American adults have high cholesterol levels
-Heart disease is the leading cause of death, worldwide
-Adults over 20 should get their cholesterol checked every 4-6 years
-Children can be affected too, not only adults
-Heredity can be a factor, such as in familial hypercholesterolemia
And most importantly- there are usually no symptoms for high cholesterol.
That’s where community pharmacies come into play. Consider providing cholesterol screening as an additional service for your patients. A quick blood test can help improve the lives of people in your community and expand your pharmacy’s offering of robust services.
Supporting heart health aligns with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Medication is necessary in some cases, but this is not the only way to regulate cholesterol levels. When counseling patients, remember to also encourage regular exercise, a low-fat and high-fiber diet, and refraining from smoking.
Take charge in your community to raise awareness and encourage practicing preventative care. While it’s important to know the dangerous risks of high cholesterol, getting check-ups does not have to be a daunting task. Focus on spreading the positives of taking charge of your health- and by building these healthy habits you can help strengthen the overall well-being of your community.