People\u2019s ignorance of the effects of high blood cholesterol is the main reason behind an increasing number of cases of heart diseases and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs), said the Ministry of Health. \r\n\r\nThere are misconceptions among the public about high blood cholesterol. These misunderstandings are causing Malaysians to think that this \u201csilent killer\u201d is associated with gender, body weight, and fitness level.\r\n\r\nAlthough high blood cholesterol is a national public concern, the bigger epidemic is ignorance, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad. He said that ignorance is fuelling high blood cholesterol in Malaysia and that this needed to stop, reported The Malay Mail.\r\n\r\nHigh blood cholesterol is a condition where the levels of lipids or bad fats are too high in the blood. According to the World Health Organisation, raised cholesterol levels are the cause of an estimated 2.6 million deaths globally and 29.7 million disability adjusted life years.\r\n\r\n\r\nHigh Blood Cholesterol, the "Silent Killer"\r\nHe added that high blood cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart disease, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. However, many Malaysians are unaware of the dangers and feel that they are not affected by it.\r\n\r\nHigh blood cholesterol is prevalent in nearly half of Malaysians, at a rate of 47.7%.\r\n\r\nAlong with this, coronary heart disease is still the principle cause of death in the country. In 2017, as many as 37 Malaysians die of the disease each day. This represents a 54% increase compared to 10 years ago.\r\n\r\nAccording to the Malaysian Health Systems Research, which is a study involving prestigious institution Harvard University, the lifespans of Malaysians are now plateauing compared to citizens of other countries in the region. \r\n\r\nOn average, the life expectancy of Malaysians are reported to have remained the same at 75, whereas the residents of other nations live longer.\r\n\r\nDzulkelfy added that the average age of Malaysians with heart disease is a mere 58 years old, compared to Thailand (68), Singapore (61), China (63), US (66) and Canada (68).\r\n\r\nHe also mentioned the government\u2019s move to offer a free healthcare scheme for the B40 group of households called Peka B40. This programme is intended to address the the prevalence of NCDs among those in low-income households.\r\n\r\nThis is also part of the ministry\u2019s effort to focus on the factors causing NCDs, such as hypertension, hyperlipid, hypercholesterol, hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes, obesity and smoking.\r\n\r\nFor more information about parenting and family, please visit Motherhood.com.my.