High cholesterol a killer in Blue Mountains

Residents of the Blue Mountains region and outer western Sydney are among the most likely to suffer from high cholesterol than anywhere else in the country according to a report released by The Heart Foundation last week.

The geographical snapshot of cardiovascular disease (CVD) found the region - which includes the Blue Mountains, Penrith, Richmond to Windsor, and St Marys - had the highest rates of cholesterol in Australia at 57 per cent, meaning more than one in two adults have high cholesterol.

The region also had the seventh highest rate of CVD in Australia at 30.5 per cent, more than 29.5 per cent higher than the national population at 21.5 per cent, said Kerry Doyle, Heart Foundation NSW Chief Executive.

"We know that prevention is the key to reducing the rates of CVD in NSW.

"It's more effective and less expensive than a cure which is why we are calling on individuals to take their health into their own hands and see their GP for a heart health check."

High blood cholesterol is a major health concern in Australia.

Too much cholesterol in the blood causes fatty deposits to gradually build up in blood vessels. This makes it harder for blood to flow through, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.

According to the Heart Foundation the factors that increase the risks of serious problems associated with high cholesterol include smoking, having high blood pressure, being overweight or having diabetes.

The CSIRO is carrying out research to develop strategies for reducing cholesterol levels

For more details go to: www. csiro.au/Outcomes/Health-and-Wellbeing/Prevention/ CholesterolFacts.aspx.

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