High blood cholesterol is a condition in which you have too much cholesterol in your blood. This condition usually has no signs or symptoms. Thus, many people are unaware that their cholesterol levels are too high.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), High blood cholesterol affects over 65 million Americans. It is a serious condition that can increase the risk of coronary heart disease. The higher your blood cholesterol levels, particularly LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, the greater your risk.
Coronary heart disease is a condition caused by a build-up of fatty deposits called plaque on the coronary artery walls. This plague is made up of cholesterol, fat, and other substances found in the blood. Overtime, the plaque hardens and narrows your coronary arteries, resulting in decreased blood supply to heart muscle. This condition is known as atherosclerosis.
Eventually, the area of plaque can rupture. This causes a blood clot forms on the surface of the plaque. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, then a heart attack or stroke can result.
High LDL cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) may be inherited, but is often preventable and treatable. A Healthy diet, regular exercise can go a long way toward lowering high LDL cholesterol.