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How do you get clogged arteries ?

By January 28, 2015 - 1:03pm
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My dad was diagnosed with cholesterol so he started taking Lipitor. His arteries clogged about 90 percent in about ten years later. I'm wondering what caused it to clog if his cholesterol www being controlled to a total of about 220. Why would it still clog if he's keeping his cholesterol down. ?

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Thank you for answering my question.
He does have high blood pressure that is hereditary. His cholesterol is also hereditary. He takes medd for them both. He is not over weight. He is actually underweight. He is 140 pounds at 5"6. He does exercise a lot. He walks a lot.

January 30, 2015 - 1:24pm

Dear Bathsheva,

Thank you for returning to the EmpowHER community and for sharing your question about your Dad and his clogged arteries.

A 220 total Cholesterol is actually borderline high. You also need to consider what his other lipid levels were.


Everyone also has ''good'' cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL), circulating in the blood. HDL is believed to remove some of the bad cholesterol from plaque in clogged arteries and transport it back to the liver, where it is eliminated. If your Dad hasn't maintained good levels of HDL then that can be a factor.

Here is a link to cholesterol levels

Other factors can be high blood pressure . Having high blood pressure increases the rate at which arterial plaque builds up. It also hastens the hardening of clogged arteries.

Cigarette smoke also causes clogged arteries. 

Diabetes, or elevated circulating blood sugar is also a major culprit. Even people who have elevated sugars not yet at the level of diabetes, such as seen in the metabolic syndrome, also have increased risk of clogged arteries.

There could be various reasons for the clogged arteries or he might suffer from a combination of reasons.


Making some simple changes in what he eats, how often he exercises, how much he weighs, and how he manage stress can help to put the brakes on heart disease.

Your Dad can reduce the damage, but probably not all if he is willing to make big, lasting changes to his lifestyle.

Walking at least half an hour a day, or for an hour three times a week. Yoga, meditation, healthy diet and stress reduction are ways he can work on reversing the damage.

If you are nearby, you can offer to exercise with him, take a yoga class together or cook him healthy meals. You will not only be helping him, but yourself-take into consideration that hear disease and cholesterol are genetic. Make it a team effort!

I hope this answered your question and gave you some good advice.




January 28, 2015 - 2:58pm
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