When I have a cold, I know my chest is congested. With cholesterol, I don’t know if my arteries are congested. And that’s more dangerous.”

High cholesterol affects more than 100 million Americans.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that can be found in every cell of the body. Some cholesterol is produced by your liver, while other cholesterol comes from the food you eat. Cholesterol moves through your bloodstream and is made by the body in order to keep cells healthy. Cholesterol is also needed for the production of hormones, vitamin D, and other substances.

Why is high cholesterol considered dangerous?

High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease—the leading cause of death in America. When cholesterol levels get too high (200-239 mg/dL=borderline high; 240 mg/dL=high), it creates a thick, hard buildup within the walls of the arteries.

Simply put, high cholesterol must be taken seriously; your life could depend on it.

What are the major risks?

High cholesterol could lead to blocked blood supply and flow to the heart or the brain. This can eventually result in:

Heart attack

Stroke

How can I lower my cholesterol?

Your doctor can talk to you about different ways to help lower your cholesterol. Some common suggestions are to:

Exercise

Take prescription
medication (like a statin)

Eat a healthy diet

What is statin medication?

Doctors widely prescribe a class of medicines called statins, which are proven to be both safe and effective in the treatment of high cholesterol. Statins work by blocking an important enzyme named HMG-CoA reductase that your liver needs to help make LDL (bad) cholesterol. Statins also help to keep production of cholesterol down and to ultimately remove it from the bloodstream.

70%

The percentage of people currently working with their family physician to manage their cholesterol.