Many older adults have their blood cholesterol level checked regularly. Now, easy-to-understand information about why this test is so important to heart health and what the results mean is available on NIHSeniorHealth, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Web site designed especially for seniors. Consumers can log onto http://nihseniorhealth.gov/highbloodcholesterol/toc.html  for answers to questions such as: What's the difference between LDL and HDL? Which one is the "good" cholesterol? What are triglycerides? What do the numbers mean? How is high blood cholesterol treated?
"Because high blood cholesterol does not cause symptoms, many people are unaware that their levels are elevated," says Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a component of NIH. "Lowering cholesterol levels that are too high reduces the risk of developing heart disease. NIHSeniorHealth is a great resource for older adults who want to learn more about how to prevent, detect, and treat high blood cholesterol."
One of the fastest growing age groups using the Internet, older Americans increasingly turn to the World Wide Web for health information. In fact, 68 percent of online seniors surf for health and medical information when they go online. NIHSeniorHealth is a joint effort of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The site is based on the latest research on cognition and aging. It features short, easy-to-read segments of information that can be accessed in a number of different formats, including various large-print type sizes, open-captioned videos, and even an audio version.
Additional topics coming soon to the site include Parkinson's disease, leukemia, kidney failure, and eating well as you get older. The site links to MedlinePlus, NLM's more detailed site for consumer health information.
The NIA leads the Federal effort supporting and conducting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The NLM, the world's largest library of the health sciences, creates and sponsors Web-based health information resources for the public and professionals. The NHLBI supports research in diseases of the heart, lung, and blood, and sleep disorders.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- The Nation's Medical Research Agency -- is comprised of 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov .