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Cholesterol is a word we hear in the news every day, with new food and drink research showing links to either higher or lower cholesterol levels.
Research from cholesterol charity Heart UK and Flora pro.activ has revealed that despite huge media campaigns raising awareness of high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, eating healthily and not smoking as triggers for heart disease, a large amount of the British public have a lot of misconceptions about high cholesterol, its causes and its effects.
In a survey which questioned almost 2,000 adults, Heart UK and Flora pro.activ wanted to find out just what the public knows about high cholesterol and their health and what they might be doing to better it. The results showed that approximately 50% of people in the UK don’t know what their cholesterol level is.
People are also confused about ways in which to lower cholesterol levels. 14% of the surveyed population thought that more sleep would help lower cholesterol rates, despite there being no evidence of sleep having any particular effect on cholesterol levels. Nearly half of the questioned ate garlic, onion and chili in a bid to reduce their levels, despite no research showing that any of these food stuffs are particularly beneficial.
Probably the most shocking result from the survey was the general lack of concern about high cholesterol. Respondents to the questionnaire didn’t seem to be aware of the risks that high cholesterol has in relation to developing heart disease, with 44% reporting they were more worried about various forms of cancer than heart disease.
Although cholesterol might not seem like a threatening condition, its strong links to life-threatening heart diseases should be enough for people to pay attention to their cholesterol levels. GPs recommend that anyone over the age of 40, or with a family history of heart disease, should be keeping an eye on their cholesterol levels in a bid to catch high rates early which can be key to preventing potential damage and heart disease.