High cholesterol is quickly becoming a term that most people have heard their doctors warn them about. That is because it puts you at a greater risk of heart disease, here’s how.
What is High Cholesterol or Dyslipidemia:
High Cholesterol (also known as Hyperlipidemia) or dyslipidemia is defined as a metabolic abnormality that leads to a persistent increase in cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body. Of the five types, Dyslipidemia and Hyperlipidemia have been found to elevate both – cholesterol and triglycerides.
A common cause of death around the world, high cholesterol is detected when one’s total cholesterol level is higher than 5.0 mmol/L or 190 mg/L.
How does it relate to heart disease
As per a study conducted in Geneva, one-third of ischemic heart disease in the world is caused due to hypercholesterolemia (a form of dyslipidemia). It is estimated that the condition will be responsible for 2.6 million deaths in the world . Apart from that, the World Health Organisation estimates that the prevalence of cardiovascular disease will double by 2020, ranking higher than even HIV/AIDS as a cause of death. 
Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) leads to a build-up of fatty deposits in one’s arteries, which over time narrow the blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis leads to heart disease, heart attack, peripheral artery disease or stroke. Low levels of HDL combined with high levels of triglycerides can also increase fat build-up in the arteries, putting one at a greater risk of heart disease and other complications.
What are the causes of high cholesterol?
Some of the most common causes of high cholesterol is being overweight or obese, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome, metabolic syndrome, genetic predisposition or Cushing Syndrome.
Tips to fix the situation
- Regular exercise: walking, jogging, cycling or any other form of exercise can help keep one’s cholesterol levels in check.
- Eating healthy: Eating a balanced diet is an integral part of keeping high cholesterol at bay since the amount of fat absorbed is healthily absorbed by the body and not deposited in blood vessels.
- Lose weight: As per experts, losing even 10-15% weight can make a difference in one’s cholesterol levels
- Quit smoking: While smoking is the cause of a number of ailments, it is known as one of the leading causes of cardiac disease and heart attacks due to plaque build-up.
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