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What Increases Your Risk?

High LDL and total cholesterol are generally related to either conditions passed on in families (inherited conditions like familial hypercholesterolemia, or FH) or poor lifestyle. Unhealthy habits 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 certain types of strokes if you have:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of early heart disease
  • Smoking or vaping
  • High lipoprotein(a) – also called Lp(a) or “L-P-little-A” (Lp(a) is mostly inherited or passed down in families)
  • Low HDL cholesterol levels (also called the "good" cholesterol)
  • Certain autoimmune or inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, among others
  • Or if you are Black or South Asian
  • Last Edited 03/22/2024