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Battling the increasing problem of high cholesterol | Wear the Gown

High cholesterol and heart disease are directly related, experts say.

SAN ANTONIO — As National Hispanic Heritage Month gets underway, we're taking a closer look at the ongoing issue of high cholesterol. 

In addition to being the No. 1 killer of Americans, it also affects one out of three Hispanic adults between 18 and 44. When it comes to Hispanics between 45 and 70, that rate jumps to 60%. 

"Unless we change what we eat, unless we change the inputs, the outputs are going to be just as difficult to manage and and lead to just as much disease," said Dr. Elizabeth Klodas, a cardiologist and the founder of Step One Foods. 

Five of the main risk factors for developing heart disease include poor diet and obesity, high blood pressure, stress, smoking and high cholesterol.

"Whether it's due to genetics or whether it's due to medication or nutrition, there's almost a linear correlation between your cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease," Klodas said. 

According to a study by the American College of Cardiology, it's expected that diabetes will be affecting 55 million Americans; high cholesterol 126 million Americans; and high blood pressure 162 million Americans by 2060. 

That means heart failure, stroke and heart attacks combined are expected to rise proportionately by 17 to 33%. 

"What that study is showing is that we may have all of these drugs that we prescribe, all of these procedures that that we've developed, and we're really not stemming the tide of of this disease," Klodas said. 

For more information about how to achieve better health through medication and a change in lifestyle, check out Step One Foods.

For more of our Wear the Gown stories on new and ongoing health issues, click here

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