Irish women in the menopausal years (aged 45-54) are the least likely to have their cholesterol checked and yet this is the time when their risk of heart attack and stroke is significantly increased.
The concern has emerged in a survey of over 500 adults to find out how aware they are of their cholesterol levels, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
While half said they have their cholesterol checked every year, women, and those aged between 45 and 54, were the least likely to have undergone testing.
"Menopause is strongly associated with an increase in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol and a decline in HDL (good) cholesterol levels," said Irene Gibson of the heart and stroke charity, Croí.
Steps to reduce cholesterol:
Maintain a healthy, balanced diet. It is important to keep your diet low in fatty food. Try to swap food containing saturated fat for fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals
Do regular exercise
Health & Living