Center offers free cholesterol testing

Had enough of that Valentine’s Day rich dinner and candy? The UH Health Center is offering free cholesterol screenings today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with photo identification.?

Cholesterol screening requires drawing blood from one’s arm, unlike a diabetes screening in which blood is drawn from a person’s finger.

Fasting for eight to 10 hours is an option for those interested in participating, but is not required for the screening, Health Center office assistant Joe Pierce said.

"(We) get the best (cholesterol) reading if one fasts," Pierce said.

People who do not fast must refrain from eating or drinking for a minimum of two hours, Pierce said.

According to the American Heart Association, two types of cholesterol can be measured.

To determine one’s cholesterol level, a blood sample is taken and analyzed for high- and low-density lipoproteins as well as body fats called triglycerides.

Healthy individuals ideally have approximately 200 milligrams or less of the harmful LDL cholesterol, according to the AHA Web site.

Healthy women ideally have 50 milligrams or less of the healthy HDL while men usually have 40 milligrams or less of HDL.

Triglyceride levels are ideally less than 150 milligrams in both men and women, according to the AHA.

Results will be available Tuesday because of the amount of attendance expected, which will take time to process. Last spring, 169 faculty, staff and students were screened for cholesterol, Pierce said.

For more information, call 713 743-5155.

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