Munson Health
High Cholesterol

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by Carson-DeWitt R

(Cholesterol, High; Hypercholesterolemia)



It is rare for high cholesterol to cause symptoms. However, high cholesterol can increase your risk of atherosclerosis . This is a dangerous hardening of the arteries. It can block the flow of blood. Some complications of atherosclerosis include:
Some people with high cholesterol may also have cholesterol deposits in tendons, under the eyes, or in the eye.
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Talk to your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment is aimed at decreasing your LDL cholesterol levels and decreasing your risk for heart disease and stroke. Options include:

Nutritional Changes

Talk to your doctor about the best meal plan for you. Consider the following changes:

Lifestyle Changes

  • Begin a safe exercise program with the advice of your doctor.
  • If you smoke, quit .
  • If you are overweight, lose weight .
  • Make sure other medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes are being treated and controlled.

Cholesterol-Lowering Medication

Your doctor may prescribe medications statins to help lower your cholesterol. Statins have been shown to reduce mortality, heart attacks , and stroke.
These medicines are best used as additions to diet and exercise. They should not be use in place of healthy lifestyle changes.


American Heart Association

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute



Canadian Cardiovascular Society

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada



Cholesterol. American Heart Association website. Available at: Accessed March 22, 2013.

Explore high cholesterol. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: Updated September 19, 2012. Accessed March 22. 2013.

Hypercholesterolemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated February 7, 2013. Accessed March 22, 2013.

Lipid-lowering pharmacotherapy overview. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated March 3, 2013. Accessed March 22, 2013.

Third report of the expert panel on detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). National Cholesterol Education Program website. Available at: Updated 2004. Accessed March 22, 2013.

12/14/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Ferdowsian HR, Barnard ND. Effects of plant-based diets on plasma lipids. Am J Cardiol . 2009;104(7):947-956.

8/27/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Hartley L, Flowers N, Holmes J, et al. Green and black tea for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jun 18;6:CD009934.


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