You’ve probably seen various kinds of cholesterol testing kit in pharmacy stores and advertised on the internet, but who are they aimed at? Well, quite possibly you, unless you can tick every single one of these boxes: under thirty, not overweight, don’t smoke, drink alcohol only moderately, fit and physically active, no history of heart problems or unexplained early death in the family.
The simple truth of the matter is that very few people in the Western world can in fact tick all those boxes. High cholesterol levels are almost epidemic in modern society, thanks in large part to increasingly sedentary lifestyles and easy access to high fat food (that’s why it tastes so nice by the way).
Modern humans live in a world for which we are in many respects very poorly adapted. The pace of technological development and change in society over the past couple of centuries is far in excess of our ability to evolve to suit this new environment. You might well be reading this on a wirelessly connected mini computer display of some description, but at heart (pun intended) you’re basically a primitive hunter/gatherer. We are physically designed to spend an awful lot of our time walking and running and subsisting on a much leaner diet.
But even if you address the main lifestyle risk factors, if you have inherited familial hypercholesterolemia (a genetic defect on a particular chromosome that disrupts the metabolism of cholesterol) then you will have no clue whatever about your condition until your first (and inevitable) heart attack. So it makes sense to check your levels now and again and a simple home test kit is a very convenient way of going about it. So now you know who needs one – you and most likely everyone you know.