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What Increases Your Risk?

High LDL and total cholesterol are generally related to either conditions passed on in families (inherited) or poor lifestyle habits that include:

  • Eating unhealthy fats and simple carbohydrates
  • Not exercising regularly
  • Being overweight or obese
In addition, you have a greater chance of heart disease or a stroke if you have:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of early heart disease
  • Active smoking
  • Low HDL-cholesterol levels (also called the "good" cholesterol)
  • Or if you are Black or African American
  • Last Edited 08/27/2021