Cholesterol is not new. It is part of the natural processes within the human body. The contemporary view of cholesterol and how it affects us today began with a government study in 1951.Pathologists from the Pentagon examined the bodies of servicemen who lost their lives during the war in Korea. They completed autopsies on 2,000 soldiers. The medical community was astounded. In 1951, it was incredible to see results that altered their view of human health so radically. It is unusual for someone under the age of 35 to die from coronary disease. Yet more than 75 % of the soldiers had yellow deposits of atherosclerotic plaque on their artery walls. Since the average age of the soldiers was 21 this was a major contradiction with the prevailing view that artery clogging deposits only occurred in older men.
These results, in 1951, surprised and startled healthcare professionals. Before the Army pathologists performed these autopsies no one had any idea how early the process of heart disease began.
Soon after these studies the major contributor to the buildup of plaque and to heart disease risk was given a name - - cholesterol.
Since the original studies, the risk of heart disease from excess cholesterol has increased exponentially. It was estimated in 2002 that 107 million American adults now have blood cholesterol levels high enough to require medical attention. Sadly, the numbers keep rising.
Despite this widespread problem, there is good news. Individual people can to something about their cholesterol levels. That is the purpose of this guide. In everyday English, we will review the cholesterol situation. What causes it? What are its effects? What can you do to reverse the negative impact it has on your personal health?
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