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Hypercholesterolemia: Symptoms & Causes

Raina Rahul Agarwal 3 Jul, 2022 Health & Fitness 3 Comments

What Is Hypercholesterolemia

Hypercholesterolemia is a term used for high cholesterol levels in the blood. It is supposed to be a cause for concern as it increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. It is a risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, it also includes cerebrovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and peripheral arterial disease. The human body needs cholesterol to produce various hormones, and also important for the digestion of fatty acids, but more cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease.

What Is Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is needed for the production of vitamins and hormones and is also responsible for the digestion of fatty acids. Cholesterol comes from two sources. The liver produces the cholesterol in our body and it also comes from the food inside the body. e.g meat. poultry and dairy products. High levels of cholesterol accumulate in the blood vessels that carry oxygen to the heart can increase the risk of disorder.

There are mainly two types of cholesterol:
LDL (Low-density Lipoprotein): It carries cholesterol to the cells. LDL causes cholesterol to make up in the artery walls. This cholesterol is referred to as bad cholesterol.

HDL (High-density Lipoprotein): It absorbs bad cholesterol and carries it to the liver and removes it from circulation. It is referred to as Good cholesterol.


Hypercholesterolemia can be caused by genetic and environmental factors. Cholesterol levels can be increased by genetic abnormalities. Genetic mutation on chromosome 19 causes the high cholesterol level, it prevents the liver from regulating cholesterol levels.

The common causes of high cholesterol are:

  1. Have a meal with high saturated and trans fat. These fats are usually found in meat and processed food.
  2. Meal with high cholesterol such as red meat and full-fat dairy.

Risk Factors

Our lifestyles and our diet play a big role in high cholesterol. There are some factors which play a vital role in Hypercholesterolemia:

  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Smoking
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • A family history of coronary artery

Excess cholesterol in human blood forms the layer of fats in the wall of blood vessels-coronary artery, which carries blood to the heart. Accumulation of cholesterol causes atherosclerotic plaques to form. Due to this artery walls get narrow and hard. This is referred to as atherosclerosis. This plaque can block the artery and it will be difficult to reach oxygen-rich blood to the heart. It increases the risk of angina and heart attack. If an artery which supplies blood to the brain gets hard and narrow then it will increase the risk of stroke in a person.


A high level of cholesterol can accumulate cholesterol in the wall of arteries and increase the risk of atherosclerosis. This plaque or deposit can cause complications of the following diseases:

Angina or chest pain:

If the artery supply the blood to the heart is affected then a person can have chest pain.

Heart Attack:

When a plaque breaks, a blood clot can form at the site of the plaque rupture. It blocks blood flow or cuts free to block downstream arteries. When blood flow to part of the heart is interrupted, a heart attack occurs.


If an artery which supplies blood to the brain gets hard and narrow then it will increase the risk of stroke in a person.

Disclaimer: All the content of this article is for information purposes only.


Raina Rahul Agarwal

A Non-Medical Scientist, BSL-2 Lab, Mirzapur

3 Comments on 'Hypercholesterolemia: Symptoms & Causes'

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