(KUTV) Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. This is why knowing if you have high cholesterol is so important.
“You don’t want that bad cholesterol to build up in your arteries because it narrows the artery and blocks that blood supply to your heart muscle which can cause a heart attack,” says Jane Fox, Cardiovascular Nursing Director at Intermountain Utah Valley Hospital.
Many people assume high cholesterol is an adult problem. However, children and teens – especially those with a family history – are also at risk.
“I never really knew what high cholesterol was until I knew I had it,” says Chloee Grunander.
“Some are very slight, very slender, very active, but with that family history, you need to be aware,” says Fox.
Not only is Fox the Cardiovascular Nursing Director at Utah Valley Hospital, she’s also 12-year-old Chloee’s grandmother.
“When her mom called and said, “Guess what Chloee has? We have high cholesterol at our house.” It hit home,” recalls Fox.
Right now, Chloee does not have to take medication, but she is working on lowering her LDL cholesterol by making lifestyle changes.
“I’ve tried being more active. My grandmother and my sister, we’ve all hiked to the Y. We hiked to the Y a couple of weeks ago,” says Chloee.
As a family, they’ve added fruits and veggies to meals and make a point to limit junk food. The goal is to not only improve Chloee’s cholesterol but potentially the rest of her family as well.
“I’m the oldest out of four and none of them have been tested because they’re under the age of 10,” says Chloee.