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High Cholesterol

Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly, but too much cholesterol in the blood can create a fatty build up in your artery walls, narrowing arteries and restricting blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance carried in the bloodstream made mostly by your liver as well as the foods we eat. Cholesterol plays an essential role in how every cell in the body works. However, too much cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart disease.

Your liver and other cells in the body make about 75 percent of your blood cholesterol. The other 25 percent comes from the foods you choose to eat.

 

What will a blood test tell you about your cholesterol?

A cholesterol blood test provides information on blood lipid (fat) levels:

  • Total cholesterol (combines the amount of all the different kinds of cholesterol in your blood stream)
  • LDL-cholesterol or 'bad' cholesterol because it deposits cholesterol in artery walls
  • HDL-cholesterol or 'good' cholesterol because it transports cholesterol back to the liver, where it is broken down from the body
  • Triglycerides are the most common form of fat in our body - carried in the blood alongside cholesterol
  • HDL-cholesterol /total cholesterol ratio is used to calculate your risk of heart attack or stroke.

You run a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke if your cholesterol levels are not well controlled.

 

Ideal cholesterol levels

  • Total cholesterol: Less than 4 mmol/L
  • LDL cholesterol: Less than 2.0 mmol/L
  • HDL cholesterol: Greater than 1 mmol/L
  • TC/HDL ratio: Less than 4.0
  • Triglycerides: Less than 1.7 mmol/L

What is cholesterol?

Next steps

Find out how to control your cholesterol


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