“The only way to know whether you have
high cholesterol is to get your
cholesterol checked by your health care team”.1

Umbrella

What may the Cholesterol Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Bad Cholesterol (LDL)
  • Blood Cholesterol/Serum
  • Good Cholesterol (HDL)
  • High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Lipids
  • Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol
  • Total Cholesterol
  • Triglycerides

Definition

What is cholesterol?

DotS the definition of cholesterol may vary. The (United States) National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) definition is:

“Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs for good health, but in the right amounts”.2

The National Heart Foundation of Australia’s (NHFA) definition is:

“Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance necessary to make hormones and vitamin D, and to help you digest food. Your body produces cholesterol, and it’s also in some foods.

The human body uses cholesterol to build cells, but too much can put you at risk of heart disease”.3

HDL

What is high-density lipoproteins (HDL)?

DotS the definition of HDL may vary. In High Cholesterol – Symptoms, Causes & Levels: Types of Cholesterol the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) definition is:

High-density lipoproteins or HDL is known as ‘good’ cholesterol. It gets rid of the ‘bad’ cholesterol from your blood by taking cholesterol you don’t need back to the liver, where it is broken down and removed from your body”.4

Non-HDL

What is non-high density liproteins (non-HDL)?

DotS the definition of non-HDL may vary. In High Cholesterol – Symptoms, Causes & Levels: Types of Cholesterol the BHF’s definition is:

Non-high-density lipoproteins or non-HDL is known as ‘bad’ cholesterol. Too much non-HDL leads to a build up of fatty deposits inside the walls of the blood vessels (channels that carry blood throughout your body). This builds up and narrows blood vessels, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke”.5

LDL

What is low-density lipoprotein (LDL)?

DotS the definition of LDL may vary. In High Cholesterol – Symptoms, Causes & Levels: Types of Cholesterol the BHF explain:

“You may also have heard ‘bad’ cholesterol being called ‘LDL’ cholesterol. This used to be the main measure of harmful types of cholesterol, but we now know that other forms of non-HDL cholesterol can also affect your health”.6

Triglycerides

What are triglycerides?

Dots the definition of triglycerides may vary. In Blood Cholesterol: Types of Cholesterol – Cholesterol and Triglycerides the NHFA explain:

“Triglycerides are the most common fat in the body. Being overweight, eating a lot of high fat and sugary foods, or drinking too much alcohol can increase your triglyceride levels. High triglycerides, along with either increased LDL cholesterol or decreased HDL cholesterol can increase your chances of developing fatty build-ups in the arteries – and a higher risk of heart attack and stroke”.7

High Cholesterol

What is high cholesterol?

DotS the definition of high cholesterol may vary. In High Cholesterol – Symptoms, Causes & Levels: High Cholesterol Explained the BHF’s definition is:

“High cholesterol means that you have too much cholesterol in your blood. There are many things that can cause this. If you don’t take steps to lower high cholesterol, it can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke”.8

Symptoms

What are symptoms of high cholesterol?

In Blood Cholesterol: Symptoms the NHLBI note:

“High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol usually do not cause symptoms. Most people do not know they have high blood cholesterol until they have a blood test during a routine healthcare visit”.9

CholesterolCause

What causes high cholesterol?

In Blood Cholesterol: Causes and Risk Factors – What Raises the Risk for Unhealthy Blood Cholesterol Levels? the NHLBI elaborate on:

“Unhealthy lifestyle habits:

  • Eating a lot of foods high in saturated fats…
  • Lack of physical activity…
  • Smoking…
  • Stress…
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Getting little or low quality sleep…

Family History…
Other Medical Conditions…
Medicines…
Age…
Race or Ethnicity…
Sex”…10

Common or Not

How common is high cholesterol?

According to the CDC:

“Millions of people in the United States have high cholesterol.11

Heart Disease, Heart Attack and StrokeCholesterol

Is there an association between heart disease, heart attack and stroke and cholesterol?

In What Is Cholesterol? Why Cholesterol Matters the (United States) American Heart Association (AHA) explain:

“High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. If you have other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes, your risk increases even more”.12

Prevention

How may high cholesterol be prevented?

In Prevention and Treatment of High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia): Know Your Numbers. And What To Do About Them. the AHA elaborate on:

“Lifestyle changes include:

  • Eating a heart-healthy diet…
  • Becoming more physically active…
  • Quitting smoking…
  • Losing weight…”.13

Know Your Numbers

How important is it to know your numbers?

In Know Your Numbers They Could Just Save Your Life Go Red for Women explain:

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure, which is why knowing your risk is critical to preventing cardiovascular disease. And knowing your risk starts with knowing your numbers.

Talk to your healthcare provider today to learn about your Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar and BMI (Body Mass Index). Your heart depends on it”.14

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have high cholesterol or I have a family history of high cholesterol?

If you think you have high cholesterol or you have a family history of high cholesterol it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Cholesterol: About Cholesterol – How Do I Know If I Have High Cholesterol? the CDC explain:

“The only way to know whether you have high cholesterol is to get your cholesterol checked by your health care team. Talk with your health care team about how often you should have your cholesterol screened”.15

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics A-Z related to Cholesterol?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Cholesterol?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Cholesterol: About Cholesterol – How Do I Know If I Have High Cholesterol? 15 May 2024. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/about/index.html Accessed: 10 July 2024
  2. Blood Cholesterol: What Is Blood Cholesterol? Last Updated: 17 April 2024. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/blood-cholesterol Accessed: 10 July 2024
  3. Blood Cholesterol: What Is Blood Cholesterol? Last Updated: 17 February 2024. National Heart Foundation of Australia https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/high-blood-cholesterol Accessed: 10 July 2024
  4. High Cholesterol – Symptoms, Causes & Levels: Types of Cholesterol. Page Last Reviewed: December 2023. British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/risk-factors/high-cholesterol Accessed: 10 July 2024
  5. High Cholesterol – Symptoms, Causes & Levels: Types of Cholesterol. Page Last Reviewed: December 2023. British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/risk-factors/high-cholesterol Accessed: 10 July 2024
  6. High Cholesterol – Symptoms, Causes & Levels: Types of Cholesterol. Page Last Reviewed: December 2023. British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/risk-factors/high-cholesterol Accessed: 10 July 2024
  7. Blood Cholesterol: Types of Cholesterol – Cholesterol and Triglycerides. Last Updated: 17 February 2024. National Heart Foundation of Australia https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/high-blood-cholesterol Accessed: 10 July 2024
  8. High Cholesterol – Symptoms, Causes & Levels: High Cholesterol Explained. Page Last Reviewed: December 2023. British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/risk-factors/high-cholesterol Accessed: 10 July 2024
  9. Blood Cholesterol: Symptoms. Last Updated: 18 April 2024. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/blood-cholesterol/symptoms Accessed: 10 July 2024
  10. Blood Cholesterol: Causes and Risk Factors – What Raises the Risk for Unhealthy Blood Cholesterol Levels? Last Updated: 19 April 2024. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/blood-cholesterol/causes Accessed: 10 July 2024
  11. Cholesterol: About Cholesterol – Key Facts. 15 May 2024. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/index.htm Accessed: 10 July 2024
  12. What Is Cholesterol? Why Cholesterol Matters. Last Reviewed 16 February 2024. American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol Accessed: 10 July 2024
  13. Prevention and Treatment of High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia). Know Your Numbers. And What To Do About Them. Last Reviewed: 19 February 2024. American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/PreventionTreatmentofHighCholesterol/Prevention-and-Treatment-of-High-Cholesterol_UCM_001215_Article.jsp Accessed: 10 July 2024
  14. Know Your Numbers They Could Just Save Your Life. Go Red for Women https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/know-your-risk/know-your-numbers Accessed: 10 July 2024
  15. Cholesterol: About Cholesterol – How Do I Know If I Have High Cholesterol? 15 May 2024. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/about/index.html Accessed: 10 July 2024
Topic Last Updated: 10 July 2024 – Topic Last Reviewed: 10 July 2023

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