How does high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) affect me?

Dean G. Karalis, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

High cholesterol itself usually causes no symptoms but can lead to atherosclerosis and heart disease.  Most often when total cholesterol is high, levels of LDL-cholesterol are high as well.  When this is the case there is a high concentration of LDL-cholesterol particles that circulate in the blood stream and can penetrate the lining of blood vessels leading to plaque formation.  This can lead to heart attacks, heart failure and death.  When LDL-cholesterol is high if lifestyle changes do not bring the LDL-cholesterol level to goal, lipid-lowering therapy is often needed.  Everyone needs to know their total cholesterol as well as their LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  If they are abnormal the patient needs to work with their health-care professional to improve their lipids and reduce their life-long risk of heart disease.

Continue Learning about High Cholesterol

Lower Your Cholesterol with a Plant-Centered Diet
Lower Your Cholesterol with a Plant-Centered Diet
On an episode of The Office, Dwight gladly switches to a new company health insurance plan, which doesn’t cover anything. Asked why, he says, “Never b...
Read More
Does mipomersen have any side effects?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Side effects may include a skin reaction at the injection site, fatigue, insomnia, flu-like symptoms...
More Answers
How is HDL related to high cholesterol?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, is considered a good cholesterol and helps to clear away excess fa...
More Answers
What Kind of Medication Is Used to Lower Cholesterol?
What Kind of Medication Is Used to Lower Cholesterol?

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.