What Is It?
High blood cholesterol (ko-LES-ter-ol), is when too much cholesterol is in your blood.
Also Known As: Hypercholesterolemia, Hyperlipidemia
- Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is made in your body. Cholesterol is also in some foods that you eat. Your body needs some cholesterol to work the right way. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs.
- Too much cholesterol in the blood is called high blood cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia.
- High blood cholesterol increases the chance of having a heart attack or some other symptom of heart disease, like chest pain (angina).
- Lowering cholesterol is important for everyone—young, middle-aged, and older adults, and both men and women.
- Eating too much saturated fat and cholesterol raises the level of cholesterol in your blood.
- Too much cholesterol in your blood can build up in the walls of arteries. This is called plaque.
- There are no signs or symptoms of high blood cholesterol. Many people don't know that their cholesterol level is too high.
- High blood cholesterol is diagnosed by checking cholesterol levels in your blood.
- A blood test called a lipoprotein profile measures the cholesterol levels in your blood and is the recommended test.
- It is important that everyone age 20 and older get their cholesterol checked at least once every 5 years.
- Many people are able to lower their cholesterol levels by eating a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, exercising, and losing weight if needed.
- Some people will need to take medicines prescribed by their doctor to lower their cholesterol in addition to eating a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, exercising, and losing weight if needed.