High Cholesterol – causes, symptoms and other risk factors

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is also called the silent killer. Cholesterol is a fat-like and waxy substance which is found in the cells in all of your body. Cholesterol travels through your body in small packages. These small packages are called lipoproteins. The packages are made of fat on the inside and proteins on the outside.

Types of cholesterol: There are two kinds of lipoprotein that are traveling throughout your body. The first one is low-density lipoproteins and the second one is high-density lipoproteins. LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) is also called bad-cholesterol. If you have high LDL, than you have risk of buildup of arteries. HDL (high-density lipoproteins) sometimes is called good lipoprotein because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Liver is removing the cholesterol from the body.

High Cholesterol – Causes and Symptoms

High cholesterol is called the silent killer. This name is given to cholesterol because many people who have high cholesterol do not feel any kind of symptoms. Following are some signs than can inform you that you are having high cholesterol:

  • Angina: One or more arteries that feeding the heart is narrowing and causes angina [1]
  • Heart attack: One of the arteries that feed the heart is blocked and this can be reason for heart attack [1]
  • Stroke: If one of the arteries in the neck or in the brain is blocked, this could be reason for stroke [2,3]
  • Pain on walking: One of the arteries that feed the leg muscles is blocked and it is causing pain while you are walking. [4]

If you have these symptoms there are indicators, that you have heart and circulatory disease.

Other signs to look out for: People should be aware of the risk from cholesterol. Not only can the most famous symptoms about cholesterol, but also other less known symptoms be reason for you to have cholesterol. Here we give you some other reasons for having cholesterol:

  • A mom, dad, sister, brother or child who have high cholesterol [5]
  • A mom, dad, sister, brother who had heart attack or angina before the age of 60 (this age is boundary for women) and age of 50 (this age is boundary for men)
  • If you are one of the people which are type 2 diabetic, you should check yourself to see if you have cholesterol [6]
  • Another reason for having high fat is to be a diet high in animal/saturated fat
  • If you are physically inactive your, chances to have cholesterol are high [4]
  • If you have a white ring around the iris of the eyes or fatty deposits on your eyelids, you must be having high fat

    High CholesterolHigh cholesterol causes

But many cases have shown that you do not need to have all of these symptoms to have cholesterol. Every man and every woman who are over the age of 40 should check their fat level every 5 years, but is also recommended to do this test once in every three months to be sure that you do not have any kind of health problem due to high-fat. You should do cholesterol check to be sure that you do not have high-fat or your chances to have stroke or heart attack are minimal or there are no chances to have heart attack or stroke. Tests will also look for sign of diabetes and kidney diseases.

Other risk factors: It is important for everyone to remember that high-risk-cholesterol is only one risk factor. If you have additional risk factors, you are put on high risk for having cardiovascular disease. Here the other risk factors that can be reason for your cardiovascular diseases:

  • Age (if you are older)
  • Cigarettes (if you are smoker) [7]
  • If you have type 2 diabetes, your chance for high-fat would be higher. [6]
  • South Asia (it is known fact those people which are living in South Asia are having higher cholesterol than the people from the other part of the world) [8]
  • Family history (if someone from your family, for example your mum, dad, brother or sister had a cholesterol in the past or if you had heart disease when you were kid, your chances to have is increasing) [5]
  • Overweight (If you are overweight, you have more chance to get more fat. This condition it is more familiar to people which are apple shaped. You should always look for your personal health. That means that you should be physically active. It will help you to win against your weight and also your chances to have high cholesterol will be lower). [9]


[1] Avci E, Dolapoglu A, Akgun DE. Role of cholesterol as a risk factor in cardiovascular diseases. 2018. Retrieved from www.intechopen.com/books/cholesterol-good-bad-and-the-heart/role-of-cholesterol-as-a-risk-factor-in-cardiovascular-diseases

[2] Nuffield Department of Population Health. High cholesterol strongly linked to risk of stroke. 2019. Retrieved from www.ctsu.ox.ac.uk

[3] Cheng P, Pan J, Xia J, et al. Dietary cholesterol intake and stroke risk: a meta-analysis. Oncotarget. 2018;9(39):25698–707.

[4] American Heart Association. Walking can lower risk of heart-related conditions as much as running. Science Daily. 2013.

[5] European Society of Cardiology. Screening for genetic high cholesterol could help patients and families avoid heart attack. Science Daily. 2019.

[6] Simonen PP, Gylling HK, Miettinen TA. Diabetes contributes to cholesterol metabolism regardless of obesity. Diabetes Care. 2002;25(9):1511-5.

[7] Gepner AD, Piper ME, Johnson HM, et al. Effects of smoking and smoking cessation on lipids and lipoproteins: Outcomes from a randomized clinical trial. American Heart Journal. 2011;161(1):145–51.

[8] Nair M, Prabhakaran D. Why do South Asians have high risk for CAD? Global Heart. 2012;7(4):307-14.

[9] Despres JP, Arsenault BJ, Cote M, et al. Abdominal obesity: The cholesterol of the 21st century? The Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 2008;24(Suppl D):7D–12D.


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