High Cholesterol: Overview
High cholesterol, or hypercholesterolemia, refers to having high levels of a substance called cholesterol in the blood. It is a common chronic condition that often has no symptoms itself, but is a major risk factor for heart disease and arteriosclerosis (“narrowed arteries”). Cholesterol damages the arteries by causing a build-up of “plaque” inside the arteries, which is a yellowish-white substance inside the blood vessels.
High cholesterol is also often associated with three other chronic disorders: obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes (Type 2 diabetes). The group of these four disorders together is often called Metabolic Syndrome or “Syndrome X”.
High cholesterol often has no clear underlying cause, which is called primary hypercholesterolemia or idiopathic hypercholesterolemia. In this case, it is a multifactorial disorder with various lifestyle risk factors and multiple genetic factors (polygenic), but no single cause. Less commonly, there may be another major disease causing the high cholesterol, when it is called secondary hypercholesterolemia.
• • •
Back to: « High Cholesterol
- Heart Disease: Heart Disease, also called Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), refers to any condition of the heart or its major blood vessels. There
... More on Heart Disease »
- Arteriosclerosis: Arteriosclerosis is the hardening of the artery wells. In medical terminology, atheroma is the narrowing of the arteries (due to
... More on Arteriosclerosis »
- Obesity: Obesity is an excess of body weight due to fatty tissue. Milder forms are called “overweight”. See also the symptom
... More on Obesity »
- Diabetes: Diabetes is a metabolic disease where the body loses the ability to properly process sugars (glucose). The full medical name
... More on Diabetes »
- Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and the less severe of the two most common forms
... More on Type 2 Diabetes »
Related Disease Topics
- Heart Disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Liver Disorders
- Nephrotic Syndrome
- Kidney Disorders
Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.