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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 you have too much of the fat in your blood.
If you have high cholesterol, this fat can build up inside your blood vessel walls. Over time, this raises your risk of having heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke.
You can improve your cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease with healthy habits. But for some people, cholesterol problems run in the family. If changes in diet and exercise don't improve your cholesterol levels, you and your doctor can decide if you want to take medicine.
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 call line 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.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: April 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
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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