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Risk factors of high cholesterol

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Risk factors of high cholesterol
(Photo: Wikipedia)

A risk factor is a characteristic that increases the likelihood of developing a particular condition. It is not a guarantee, however, that it will develop. Some risk factors related to high cholesterol can be controlled or monitored.

Risk factors that cannot be controlled

  • Family history – it can run in families, particularly if genetic
  • Age – the risk increases with age
  • Sex – occurs in both genders, but men typically have lower HDL levels than women
  • Race – occurs in all races, but is more frequent in Mexican American males and African American females

Risk factors that can be modified

  • Unhealthy diet – diets high in trans fats and added sugars have been linked to high cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Large waist circumference
  • Smoking

Complications

The buildup of plaque called atherosclerosis, which is attributed to cholesterol, is linked to several life-threatening conditions.

  • Angina (chest pain)
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral arterial disease (buildup of plaque in the legs)