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. It will affect roughly half of all men and a third of all women at some point in their lives. 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.
It’s unlikely that HDL cholesterol is an independent risk factor for heart disease.
Widespread use of cholesterol-lowering statins brings the issue to light.
Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip for two to Washington, D.C., in March 2017!
Other cholesterol lowering therapies—including a heart-healthy diet—can be similarly effective at lowering cholesterol and cardiovascular risk, finds study.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force maintains that there’s not enough evidence to support universal cholesterol screenings in children.
Study authors emphasize screening for the genetic disorder that causes dangerously high cholesterol.
Fasting for cholesterol tests may soon be a thing of the past, based on new recommendations.
Simple heart-healthy choices could reduce risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s by 20%, finds study.
A large international trial finds statins to be most effective for heart disease prevention.
The highest death rates from heart disease have shifted to the South since the 1970s.
Landmark research demonstrates the benefits of using CAC tests when appropriate.
Increased statin use could prevent heart events for over a quarter of a million people.
Study analyzed data on trends in older adults in the Framingham Heart Study.
Exercise-based rehab programs reduce risk for heart-related death by 26%.
Heart disease accounts for 1 in 3 deaths, highlighting an urgent need for prevention and treatment.
Not taking cholesterol-lowering statins as prescribed means higher risk for heart attack and death.
Join the CardioSmart Team on Dec. 15 at 12:00 p.m. ET for a free online webinar on managing cholesterol.
Click to Register Now!
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.
Find and compare the best hospitals for your condition»