HealthCareMagic is now Ask A Doctor - 24x7 |

Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties
159 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM BlogQuestions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction
Article Home Adult and Senior Health High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is the presence of high cholesterol in the blood. It?s not a disease but a metabolic disorder secondary to many diseases. It contributes coronary heart disease, hypertension, and stroke.



  • Hereditary- familial hypercholesterolemia
  • Obesity
  • Diet rich in fat, junk and oily foods
  • Sedentary life styles
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Old age
  • Mental stress and tension

Other secondary causes

  • Diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Zieve’s syndrome
  • Antiretroviral drugs- protease inhibitors and NRTI’S

Signs and symptoms

  • High cholesterol typically has no noticeable symptoms. It is usually found by lipid profile testing.
  • Yellowish patches around eyelids- Xanthelesma palpabrum
  • Cholesterol deposits around cornea and whitish edges of cornea- arcus senalis
  • Xanthoma- deposition of cholesterol in patches on the skin or in tendons


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Angina
  • Stroke and other cerbrovascular disorders
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Premature death
  • Pancreatitis
  • Erectile dysfunction

Tests and diagnosis

Fasting lipid profile

Cholesterol type


Borderline high


Total cholesterol

<200 (mg/dl)

200- 239 (mg/dl)

>240 (mg/dl)

Low-density lipoprotein

<130 (mg/dl)

130- 159 (mg/dl)

>160 (mg/dl)


<150 (mg/dl)

150- 199 (mg/dl)

>200 (mg/dl)



HDL levels

HDL cholesterol levels

HDL cholesterol category

<40 mg/dl

Major risk factor for heart disease

40- 59 mg/dl

The higher, the better

>60 mg/dl

Protective against heart



Other tests

  • ECG
  • 2D- Echo




Diet low in fat, moderate in carbohydrates, and rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals

  • Total fat- Less than 30% of calories
  • Saturated fat- Less than 7% of calories
  • Polyunsaturated fat- Less than or equal to 10% of calories
  • Monounsaturated fat- Approximately 10-15% of calories
  • Carbohydrates (complex) - 50-60% of calories


Although exercise has little effect on LDL- cholesterol, aerobic exercise may improve insulin sensitivity, HDL- cholesterol, and triglyceride levels and may thus reduce your heart risk.


Lipid-lowering therapy should be used for secondary prevention of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity for all patients with known coronary artery disease and type II diabetes.

  • Statins (most prominently Rosuvastatin, Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, or Pravastatin) are the first line drugs used for primary prevention against macrovascular complications with type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular risk factors.
  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitors (ezetimibe)
  • Fibrates (Gemfibrozil, Bezafibrate, Fenofibrate)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Bile acid sequestrants (Cholestyramine)
  • LDL apheresis and in hereditary severe cases liver transplantation