Mercy Heart & Vascular Services
Conditions - High cholesterol
While everybody needs a certain amount of cholesterol to function properly, having too much of the fatty substance, particularly low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), can greatly increase your risk of developing heart disease. High cholesterol does not cause any physical symptoms so it is possible to have high cholesterol without knowing it. High cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup which makes it difficult for your body to transport oxygen-rich blood. If the plaque ruptures cholesterol and fat can create a blood clot which may cause a heart attack. Men age 35 and older and women and men with risk factors for heart disease should have their cholesterol checked regularly through a simple blood test. Your total cholesterol level should be under 200. If you have a higher total cholesterol level or if you have one or more risk factors for heart disease your doctor will also check your LDL and HDL levels.