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Women's Heart NY
What is Heart Disease?
Test and Treatments
Lifestyle Changes and Support Services
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What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a soft fat-like, waxy substance found in the blood and in all cells. It is normal to have cholesterol; it is used for cell repair, production of hormones and body functions. Most of the body’s cholesterol (75%) is produced in the body; however, the remaining 25% comes from an individual’s diet. Too much cholesterol in the blood, however, can contribute to a plaque build-up in the arteries, leading to coronary artery disease, heart attacks and strokes.
There are three different types of cholesterol, each contributing independently to the risk of coronary artery disease.
Diets high in cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fatty acids, obesity, lack of activity, family history, and age all put you at risk for high cholesterol. Premenopausal women have lower levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and higher levels of HDL (good cholesterol), but one year after menopause, the protective effect of estrogen is lost and a woman can have higher cholesterol levels, with lower HDL and higher LDL.
What are warning signs?
How is high cholesterol diagnosed and treated?
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