5 quick facts you should know about cholesterol

High cholesterol is a common ailment among adults. But how much do you know about it?

The body uses cholesterol in a number of ways, including maintaining membranes. While the body requires cholesterol, it can build up in and block arteries, leading to heart disease and stroke.

To prevent cholesterol buildup, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends exercise, a healthy diet and not smoking.

Five quick facts about cholesterol: 

1. According to the CDC, about 73.5 million adults in the United States have what is considered to be high bad cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is “bad” cholesterol.

2. High cholesterol levels vary by race, ethnicity and sex, according to the CDC.

3. The CDC recommends all adults have their cholesterol levels checked once every 5 years.

4. Individual’s with high cholesterol are at about twice the risk for heart disease as those with lower levels, according to the CDC.

5. High cholesterol has no symptoms. A blood test is required to check cholesterol levels.