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What Causes High Cholesterol? 6 Factors That Put You at Risk

Dr. Hanish Gupta 90% (1667 ratings)
MBBS, DNB (General Medicine)
Internal Medicine Specialist, Delhi  •  14 years experience
What Causes High Cholesterol? 6 Factors That Put You at Risk

Cholesterol is a vital component, which helps the body to make healthy cells. This wax like component is found in the lipid of the blood. An increased cholesterol count elevates the risk of heart diseases in a person. It thickens the vessels of the arteries resulting in less oxygen flow in the heart. This, in turn, increases the chances of a stroke. High cholesterol can happen from lifestyle habits and inheritance. It is completely treatable and preventable.

What causes high cholesterol?
The blood carries the cholesterol which is attached to the proteins. The combination of cholesterol and protein is known as the lipoprotein. Primarily there are two different kinds of cholesterol that the lipoprotein carries:

  • Low-density lipoprotein: LDL is the bad guy that carries all kinds of cholesterol present in the body. It eventually rests on the walls of the arteries, making it narrow and hard.
  • High-density lipoprotein: This is the good guy which scans the excess cholesterol and take them back to the liver.

Ideally, the body should have low LDL and high HDL. But often the reverse happens, resulting in high cholesterol and cardiac diseases. Factors such as unhealthy diet, inactivity for most of the day and obesity is responsible for the same. Even the genetic set up can play a hand in a high count of LDL in the body. There is nothing that can be done in this case except to seek medical help.

6 factors that put you at risk:

  1. Poor diet: Cholesterol levels are dramatically increased when baked products and saturated fats are consumed in an excess amount. Other high cholesterol food products include dairy products, processed fats and red meat. Refraining from this food items will drastically reduce the chances of getting high cholesterol in the body.
  2. Obesity: Obesity results from too much of fat storage in the body. It not only fatigues a person faster, but puts a person at high risk of getting cholesterol. The body mass index should be always lesser than 30 to abstain the risk of cholesterol.
  3. Waist circumference: A waist circumference of more than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women can increase the risk of cholesterol.
  4. Diabetes: This is one of the major causes of high cholesterol. It not only damages the artery lining, but results in higher LDL and lower HDL.
  5. Less workout: Leading a life which is devoid of exercise and jogging can increase the chances of getting high cholesterol. Exercise boost HDL count in the body and mitigates the risk of low HDL.
  6. Smoking: The blood vessel walls get damaged with smoking. The blood vessels start accumulating fatty acids thereby increasing the chances of getting high cholesterol.
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