What Are the Risk Factors for Hypercholesterolemia

What Are the Risk Factors for Hypercholesterolemia

What Are the Risk Factors for Hypercholesterolemia

• Diet. Habitual consumption of animal-based foods containing high saturated fat levels can lead to hypercholesterolemia. Sugary beverages can also increase cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the bloodstream.

• Obesity. Hypercholesterolemia is common in obese people. Obesity stimulates the body to produce more cholesterol. Without eating any high-cholesterol foods, obese people could still have very high cholesterol levels in the bloodstream and be afflicted with hypercholesterolemia. Weight loss can lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream and reduce the risk of hypercholesterolemia in obese people. Weight loss, not medication, is the best way to lower blood levels of cholesterol.

• Lack of exercise. Regular exercise can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Studies have shown that regular exercise increased "good" cholesterol (HDL) and decreased "bad" cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. Contrary to that, lack of physical activity was shown to increase LDL and decrease HDL.

• Smoking. Chemicals in cigarette smoke may affect cholesterol levels in the blood. Studies revealed that "bad" cholesterol was high and "good" cholesterol was low in smokers compared to nonsmokers.

• Diabetes. Hypercholesterolemia is common in type 2 diabetes patients. High blood glucose stimulates the body to produce more cholesterol. Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for hypercholesterolemia.

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