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Cholesterol is a type of fat in your blood. It is needed for many body functions, such as making new cells. Cholesterol is made by your body. It also comes from food you eat. High cholesterol means that you have too much of the fat in your blood. This raises your risk of a heart attack and stroke.
LDL and HDL are part of your total cholesterol. LDL is the "bad" cholesterol. High LDL can raise your risk for coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke. HDL is the "good" cholesterol. It helps clear bad cholesterol from the body. High HDL is linked with a lower risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Your cholesterol levels help your doctor find out your risk for having a heart attack or stroke. You and your doctor can talk about whether you need to lower your risk and what treatment is best for you.
Treatment options include a heart-healthy lifestyle and medicine. Both options can help lower your cholesterol and your risk. The way you choose to lower your risk will depend on how high your risk is for heart attack and stroke. It will also depend on how you feel about taking medicines.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: January 10, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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