New Cholesterol Guidelines: What Employers Need to Know
On November 10, in conjunction with 11 other organizations, the American Heart Association announced new cholesterol guidelines that are relevant to all employees (and all people!). The landmark report emphasizes the importance of closely monitoring cholesterol levels to prevent heart disease, as well as the importance of personalized treatment plans.
In particular, the report doubles down on lowering LDL cholesterol as a key health goal. LDL stands for “low-density lipoproteins” and is typically referred to as the “bad” cholesterol (as opposed to HDLs). LDL cholesterol causes people to build up fatty deposits in their arteries—and these deposits cause heart attacks, strokes, and other complications.
The tough news? Over 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. have high LDL levels. But people in every risk category can take positive steps to lower their LDL levels and lower their overall risk for heart disease.
The report highlighted key recommendations for managing cholesterol—and they focus on knowing your numbers, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and talking to your doctor about your genetic history and a treatment plan.
As a top biometric screenings provider, we’ve always encouraged employees to make a screening appointment to learn about their health status. Staying on top of your LDL results is key to understanding your risk levels. And part of our role as a screenings vendor is to help participants who are at higher risk take the appropriate next steps—which includes encouraging them to see their physician to discuss a tailored course of action.
The new cholesterol report doesn’t just advocate lifestyle changes for people who already have high cholesterol—it underlines the importance of healthy habits from a young age, over the full course of a person’s life. This preventive approach is huge, and a core part of our philosophy as a wellness company.
The report’s emphasis on a personal treatment plan may sound daunting to employers who want their wellness program to make a difference. But the truth is, there’s plenty of room for employees to get personalized attention in a corporate wellness program. Providing health education at screening events allows each employee to talk one-on-one with a Registered Dietitian who can explain their results and provide initial recommendations for lifestyle changes. (Check out our latest health education case study to see the impact it makes.)
Beyond screening events, WCS Health Coaching is built on the idea ongoing, private, personalized sessions can make all the difference. Our health coaches (also Registered Dietitians) focus on helping each individual employee set a goal that matters to their health, focusing on sustainable behavior change that leads to lasting wellbeing.
And again, health educators and health coaches are both excellent advocates for physician visits, who are ready to encourage employees to see their personal doctor for prescription management and more.
At the end of the day, these new cholesterol guidelines provide clear instructions that apply to pretty much everyone: monitor your health and carry out a personalized plan. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your employees do both.