OverviewHigh cholesterol happens when cholesterol levels in the blood exceed its normal level. Total cholesterol should be <5.2 mmol/L, HDL cholesterol >1.0 mmol/L, LDL cholesterol < 2.6 mmol/L, and triglycerides <1.7 mmol/L.
Signs and SymptomsUsually asymptomatic, Soft and yellowish plaques on the skin known as xanthomas, Chest pain or discomfort, Dizziness, Slurred speech, Unsteady gait, Pain in the lower limbs
Common CausesAcquired disorders, Hereditary Disorders
Risk FactorsDiabetes, High blood pressure, Family history of high cholesterol, heart disease or stroke, Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke on a regular basis, Being overweight or obese, Unhealthy eating habits with high fat or high sodium diet, Lack of exercise, Increasing age
Investigation TechniquesMedical history, Physical examination, A cholesterol test looking at the 4 measurements: total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides, Kidney function test, Liver function test, Electrocardiogram, Exercise stress test
Treatment and PreventionLifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight, Lipid-lowering medications such as statins, bile acid-binding resins, cholesterol absorption inhibitor, the combination of statin and cholesterol absorption inhibitor, fibrates, niacin, omega-3 fatty acids supplements, and combination of calcium-channel blocker and statin