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Great Expectations®for High Cholesterol is an educational program for members who want to learn more about how to lower their cholesterol levels and make lifestyle changes to manage important cardiovascular risk factors. Ready to get started? Review the high cholesterol guide guide to help you take charge of your cholesterol and get on the path to living a healthier life.
Benefits of Participating
- You’ll receive access to online education and reminders for needed care.
- Our staff of experienced health coaches — including cardiac nurses and health educators — is available to answer your questions and offer support.
- Depending upon your condition, you may receive phone calls from a health coach to help you set personal health goals to manage your high cholesterol.
Online Educational Resources
- My Life Check Assessment will help you identify simple steps to improve your heart health, quality of life and assist you in creating a heart-healthy action plan.
Important Steps You Can Take to Manage High Cholesterol
- Control your cholesterol. High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for developing heart disease, stroke and heart attack. If your cholesterol level is high, you can usually lower it with a heart-healthy diet, exercise and, if needed, medication. Please have your cholesterol tested as ordered by your physician or other health care provider.
- Total cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dL
- LDL (bad cholesterol): Less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL (“good” cholesterol): 50 mg/dL or higher
- Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL
- Manage other health conditions and diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and pre-diabetes. Work with your primary care doctor on the best plan of care for you and take medications as prescribed. Ask your doctor if taking an aspirin (or baby aspirin) daily is right for you.
- Know your body mass index (BMI). BMI takes into account your height and weight and is a good indicator of whether your weight is in a healthy range or if you may be overweight or obese.
- Lose excess weight if you are overweight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease. If you need help with losing weight, check out the resources available through Great Expectations®for Weight Management.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It can strengthen your heart muscle, even if it’s just for 20–30 minutes on most days. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program to discuss what type of exercise is best for you.
- Quit smoking. Smoking constricts your blood vessels and reduces the size of your arteries. This increases your risk for a heart attack. If you need help quitting smoking, check out the resources available through Great Expectations®for Tobacco Cessation.
- Manage your stress. Prolonged stress can have many negative effects on your body.
- Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol intake may affect your heart health. Talk to your doctor about how much alcohol (if any) is okay for you.
- Keep your scheduled visits with your doctor or other health care professionals. Get your blood work and other tests done as ordered. Take all your medications your doctor prescribes. Work with your doctor to get your LDL cholesterol under 100, if you have heart disease.
- Follow a heart healthy meal plan. Foods lower in fat and sodium are healthier for your heart. Use these resources for tips to help you choose delicious and satisfying foods that are also good for you!
- Learn your heart attack risk.
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