High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia)

Chest | Endocrinology and Metabolism | High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) (Disease)


Cholesterol is a waxy substance thats found in the fats (lipids) in the blood. While the body needs cholesterol to continue building healthy cells, having high cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease.

Causes and Risk factors

When a person has high cholesterol, he/she may develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. The heart may not get as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs, which increases the risk of a heart attack. Decreased blood flow to the brain can cause a stroke.

High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) can be inherited, but is often preventable and treatable. A healthy diet, regular exercise and sometimes medication can go a long way toward reducing high cholesterol.

Diagnosis and Risk factors

To establish the diagnosis should be made at least two dosage levels of cholesterol at one month interval. There is talk of starting cholesterol level of 6. 5 millimoles, which is 2. 5 grams per liter. The assessment takes into account the normal growth of cholesterol with age, approximately 0. 26 millimoles (or 0. 1 grams) per liter for each additional decade of life over 30 years.

Even if short-term cholesterol does not cause any symptoms, through the years it is complicated by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). In limited cases, be dosed separately two varieties of cholesterol: HDL cholesterol that protects against coronary heart disease risk and LDL cholesterol which, in contrast, increases this risk.

Treatment involves reducing, even suppressing the consumption of foods high in cholesterol: egg (yolk, especially), organs, fatty meats, sausages and butter. In addition, decreased consumption of saturated fats of animal origin in favor of unsaturated fatty acids, contained in olive oil, sunflower, corn, peanuts in margarine, sunflower or corn over. If, after a regimen of three months, cholesterol remains high, is prescribed a drug, usually a fibrate and an inhibitor of an enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase. ...