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You can reduce your risk of heart disease by keeping the amount of cholesterol in your blood at optimal levels. The first step to managing your cholesterol is to get a blood test. Knowing what your cholesterol levels are and how they're measured can help you have a more informed discussion with your doctor about what you need to do.
There are two types of cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol is the main source of cholesterol buildup in the arteries and leads to a higher risk of heart disease. On the other hand, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol helps prevent cholesterol buildup in the arteries and leads to a lower risk of heart disease.
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