You have this condition if there are high levels of cholesterol in the blood. There are three parts of cholesterol:

  • Low density lipoproteins (LDL)—known as bad cholesterol. It causes build up of cholesterol and other fats in the body. High LDL levels can cause artery and heart disease.
  • High density lipoproteins (HDL)—known as good cholesterol. It can remove cholesterol and other fats from the body. High levels of HDL can protect against heart disease.
  • Triglycerides—a common form of fat in the body.


Causes of high cholesterol include:


Risk Factors

These factors increase your chance of high cholesterol:

  • Age: cholesterol levels tend to rise with age
  • Sex:
  • Family members with high cholesterol
  • High-fat diet
  • ]]>Obesity]]> , overweight
  • Sedentary lifestyle



The condition itself will rarely cause any symptoms. If not treated, it often leads to atherosclerosis]]> . This is a dangerous hardening of the arteries. It can end up blocking blood flow through arteries. In severe cases, this may result in:

If you have an inherited form of high cholesterol, cholesterol deposits in the:

  • Tendons
  • Under the eyes
  • Around the cornea


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The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. These tests]]> are used to measure the cholesterol levels in your blood:

  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol
  • LDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides



Treatment may include:

Lifestyle Changes

Cholesterol-Lowering Medication

If diet and exercise do not work, you may need medication. Examples include:

]]>Statins]]> are often prescribed for high cholesterol. They have been shown to reduce mortality (death) and ]]>heart attacks]]> . Ezetimibe has reduced plaque in arteries. However, it has not been shown to reduce mortality.

Some may have a high risk for ]]>coronary artery disease]]> . In this case, combination therapy may be needed to lower LDL.



To help reduce your chance of getting high cholesterol, follow the lifestyle changes]]> above. Work with your doctor to monitor and control your cholesterol levels.