Home cholesterol test kit, England, 1992.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Manufactured by Boots plc, this home cholesterol testing kit was developed for use by people without medical training, encouraging self-monitoring. Cholesterol is found throughout the body and is an integral part of all cell membranes. However, high levels of cholesterol in the blood can cause arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which increases the risk of heart disease. Blood cholesterol levels can be lowered by reducing the amount of fat and alcohol in the diet, and also by taking regular exercise.