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How do cholesterol levels affect different age groups?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
High cholesterol levels affect different population groups disproportionately. For example, high cholesterol seems to have a significant aging effect on young and middle-aged men. The effect is much less significant for older men, and for women of all ages. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is less important than high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol for women of all ages, and for men over the age of sixty-five. That means that for most of us, it is more important to have high HDL than low LDL. Estrogen (the female sex hormone) generally decreases the presence of cholesterol in the blood, whereas androgens (the male sex hormones) increase blood LDL cholesterol. Premenopausal women rarely have to worry about their cholesterol levels.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.