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013 Elevated Cholesteral Levels in Veteran Cyclists- Health Hazards

Elevated Cholesteral Levels in Veteran Cyclists- Health Hazards

The health risk of an elevated cholesterol level is established. Depending on risk factors, there is an increased propensity to premature stroke or heart attack. The risk factors are:
High blood pressure
Lack of exercise
Family history of heart attacks at an early age

A total cholesterol level in excess of 6 is considered high. Active cyclists can have elevated levels and don't know it. Premature heart attacks are well documented in active cyclists. Unfortunately, sudden death is known to occur during or shortly after the Argus Cycle Tour. Critical narrowing of the coronary heart arteries is the problem that starves the heart of oxygen.

Cycle tips:

If over 30 years, have a cholesterol blood test (called a lipogram)
Respond to the result and do something about an elevated level
Cut out all meat (especially red) and go vegetarian
Get your weight down
Control high blood pressure (this may mean takings pills)
Statins (i.e. pravastatin, simvastatin, atorvastatin) may be needed if risk factors are strong. The pills are strong and effective in lowering cholesterol levels. Side-effects are very common, especially in those that exercise and cycle. The problems are stomach ache, joint and muscle pain. Medications must be stopped if muscle cramps occur. Consult a health care professional.
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