High Cholesterol

In addition to adopting heart-healthy habits, some people may need a cholesterol-lowering medication.

Learn about Statins

Trying to lower LDL cholesterol often comes down to making healthier lifestyle choices.

More about High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that travels through the blood. In and of itself, cholesterol isn’t bad. It actually helps create the outer coating of our cells and aids the body in making vitamin D and certain hormones.

Your body makes the cholesterol it needs. But you also get it in your diet (for example, full-fat dairy products, fried foods and fatty meat). Too much cholesterol can be dangerous. That’s because over time cholesterol and fat can build in the inner walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This can cause a narrowing of the arteries (see atherosclerosis), which is a major cause of heart disease.

If you have high cholesterol, you’re certainly not alone. The good news is that high cholesterol is often preventable and treatable. Adopting a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and, in some cases, taking medication can go a long way to help lower your cholesterol and protect your heart.

Use this condition center to learn more about high cholesterol. You can also chat online with other people like you, keep up with the latest research, and get tips to help your cholesterol in check.

High Cholesterol News & Events

Physical distancing

Physical Distancing Helps Prevent Spread Of COVID-19, Study Finds

Jun 22, 2020
Face coverings and masks also help protect against the new coronavirus.
COVID-19 symptoms

Coronavirus and Your Heart

May 25, 2020

This video explains the main symptoms of COVID-19 and how the new coronavirus might make existing heart conditions worse.

COVID-19: When to Call 911

COVID-19: When to Call 911

May 08, 2020

Many people around the world are concerned about the new coronavirus. While it is important to protect yourself from infection, heart attacks and strokes do not stop during a pandemic.

videos

COVID-19: Call 911 for Heart Attack or Stroke Symptoms

Apr 23, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still important to call 911 if you or someone you know is experiencing warning signs of a heart attack or stroke.

webinar

Coronavirus and People With Heart Conditions: What You Need to Know | Webinar

Apr 06, 2020

In this Mended Hearts webinar, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief Martha Gulati offers advice on what you can do to protect your heart during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

More Research Needed to Understand Role of Statins in COVID-19

Mar 27, 2020

If you are taking a statin for an underlying heart condition or to lower your chance of developing heart disease, continue to do so unless directed otherwise by your health care professional.

Cancer treatment

Statins for Breast Cancer? Maybe for Some.

Mar 23, 2020

Popular cholesterol-lowering drug linked to a lower chance of treatment-related heart failure.

Coronavirus

Heart Patients Warned of Risks from Coronavirus

Mar 13, 2020

People with heart disease seem to be at higher risk of developing serious illness from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Use Olive Oil Instead of Saturated Fats for Heart Health, Study Suggests

Mar 05, 2020
Olive oil linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease in analysis of more than 90,000 U.S. adults.

Long-Term Use of Evolocumab to Treat FH is Safe and Effective, Study Shows

Mar 02, 2020
New type of treatment, called a PCSK-9 inhibitor, can lower cholesterol in people with familial hypercholesterolemia.
Glass of milk

Skip Milk? Opinions Vary on Its Benefits

Feb 12, 2020
The dietary guideline urging most Americans to drink three glasses of milk a day isn’t justified, according to authors of a review article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Marijuana

Highlighting the Concerns of Marijuana's Effects on the Heart

Feb 07, 2020
Marijuana use is associated with cardiovascular problems and can interfere with common heart medications, according to a review article.

More Research Needed to Achieve Health Equity in Preventive Care

Jan 26, 2020

Experts identify gaps in knowledge about how to put proven services into practice.

Study Supports Treatment of Lipoprotein(a) to Reduce Heart Risks

Jan 07, 2020
Study confirms link between lipoprotein(a) and heart disease, highlighting benefits of treatment.

Cholesterol Experts Recommend Focusing on a Healthy Overall Diet

Dec 27, 2019
Experts recommend choosing healthy foods, rather than cutting cholesterol from our diet, to promote heart health.

Top CardioSmart News Articles of 2019

Dec 18, 2019

This year's most-read patient stories worth a second look.

Statins Don't Cause Memory Decline in Elderly Adults

Nov 27, 2019

Study offers reassurance about the effects of statins on memory and cognitive function.

Diet Soda and Sugary Drinks May Affect Lifespan, Study Finds

Sep 29, 2019
Two or more sodas a day shown to increase risk of death in nearly half a million Europeans.

Consumption of Plant-Based Proteins Could Add Years to Your Life

Sep 17, 2019

Study suggests that we eat plenty of plant-based foods, while limiting red and processed meat.

Not All Plant-Based Foods are Created Equal

Sep 13, 2019
Just because a food is vegetarian does not mean it promotes health and longevity. 

Strict Insurance Policies Reduce Access to Life-Saving Cholesterol Drugs

Aug 16, 2019

Most patients never get the PCSK9 inhibitors they’re prescribed, putting them at increased risk for heart events.

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol in Early Adulthood Shape Future Heart Health

Aug 03, 2019
Risk factors in early adulthood have long-lasting effects on heart health as we age.

Decades of Health Gains Lost After Cutbacks in Low-Income, Rural Maine

Jul 07, 2019

Study suggests continued health programming is needed to reduce health disparities in low-income communities.

Cholesterol Disorder Overlooked in Many Young Heart Attack Patients

Jun 19, 2019

Familial hypercholesterolemia is overlooked and undertreated.

Skipping Breakfast Nearly Doubles Risk for Heart-Related Death

May 09, 2019

Long-term study of U.S. adults underscores why the morning meal may be the most important of the day.

Infographic: Managing High Cholesterol

Infographic: Cholesterol

Featured Video

LDL – the bad cholesterol. LDL is the cholesterol that gums up your arteries and causes the buildup of blockages. It’s also the cholesterol that is toxic to the lining of your arteries, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

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