Last month, as every year in October, the UK observed National Cholesterol Month, a period aimed at promoting cholesterol education and encouraging behaviours that help us to look out for our heart health whilst continuing to enjoy life.
As part of this initiative, one of our local GPs, Dr Sid Deshmukh from Sidcup Medical Centre (Bexley), went on air at Awaaz FM to talk about high cholesterol in the South Asian community.
Resulting from a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors, people of South Asian heritage have a significantly higher chance of developing high blood cholesterol than members of other ethnic groups. As well as this, the South Asian community is at an increased risk of developing further complications, including obesity, diabetes, heart attacks and stroke.
Touching on diet, exercise and regular health check-ups, Dr Sid explained how we can live what he calls a ‘heart healthy’ lifestyle. He strongly encourages you to attend your check-ups so that you can detect high blood cholesterol early and take preventative action.
If you are over the age of 40 and have no history of heart disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol, or a number of other conditions, you will be invited to a free NHS Health Check. NHS Health Checks take place once every five years. You will receive your invitation by post from your GP surgery, local authority or council.
Alternatively, if you have pre-existing health conditions, your GP will measure your cholesterol levels at your annual review.
Taking control of your health is much easier when you have the knowledge to do so. The NHS website provides you with information on what high cholesterol is, how you can manage it in your daily life and much more.
If you do not have access to the internet, please speak to your GP or practice nurse, who will be able to provide you with this information.