• Cholesterol is found in every cell of the body. Too much of it can cause fatty deposits in blood vessels, restricting blood flow, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol is often preventable and treatable with diet, exercise and, at times, medication.


    Smoking damages blood vessels, making them more likely to accumulate fatty deposits. Cigarette smoking can also lower HDL, or good cholesterol.

    Obesity and Poor Diet

    People with a body mass index of more than 30 are at a greater risk of high cholesterol. Foods that are high in cholesterol include red meat, high-fat dairy products, saturated fats found in animal products and trans fats found in some cookies and crackers.

    Lack of Exercise

    Lack of exercise increases LDL, or bad cholesterol. Exercise helps lower LDL cholesterol, and boost HDL cholesterol.

    High Blood Pressure

    High blood pressure increases the pressure on artery walls, damaging the arteries. Damaged arteries can mean quicker accumulation of fatty deposits.

    Family History

    A family history of high cholesterol can mean a predisposition to increased levels of bad cholesterol. A healthy diet can help, but in some cases, medication may be needed to maintain proper levels of good and bad cholesterol.



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