Risk factors of high cholesterol
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
- Large waist circumference
The buildup of plaque called atherosclerosis, which is attributed to cholesterol, is linked to several life-threatening conditions.
- Angina (chest pain)
- Heart attack
- Peripheral arterial disease (buildup of plaque in the legs)