Raised cholesterol levels do not cause symptoms – that is, until your arteries are so furred up you end up with angina, a heart attack, or a stroke.
Obviously, it’s much better to have your cholesterol levels checked long before you get to this stage.
For this reason, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) recommends all adults have a cholesterol check at any age, even if they feel completely well.
If the test was abnormal, you should have the test more regularly than this.
Testing is crucial for people over 40 years old, but it’s just as important for young adults because.
Dr Lee explained: “One in 250 of the UK population will familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) – a genetic condition that results in high cholesterol levels (usually raised LDL cholesterol).
“This needs to be diagnosed at a young age and treated appropriately to stop you from developing heart disease at a young age
“If you have close relatives who have had heart disease at a young age, this should alert you to having a medical check-up and a cholesterol test.
“Close family history is an important risk factor for heart disease.”
Ask your GP or pharmacist to do a cholesterol test for you, or make an appointment for your free NHS health check offered to all UK adults between the ages of 40 to 74 years.
There are very few clinical signs of raised cholesterol and raised cholesterol is most commonly diagnosed when a person is admitted to hospital, for example, with a heart attack, or from asymptomatic testing.
However, Dr Lee said there are four key signs to look out for: