WHAT’S THE DIF­FER­ENCE?

High choles­terol and fa­mil­ial hy­per­c­holes­tero­laemia

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - DR MIRIAM STOPPARD -

HIGH CHOLES­TEROL Choles­terol is a fat vi­tal for the nor­mal func­tion­ing of the body. It’s mainly made by the liver where it’s man­u­fac­tured into cer­tain hor­mones, par­tic­u­larly the sex hor­mones. It’s also found in some foods, but this choles­terol doesn’t con­trib­ute to a high blood choles­terol. There are two main types: low-den­sity lipopro­teins (LDL), the “bad” type of choles­terol linked to heart dis­ease, and high-den­sity lipopro­tein (HDL), the “good” type im­por­tant for heart health. Hav­ing an ex­ces­sively high level of choles­terol in your blood dele­te­ri­ously af­fects your health. High choles­terol it­self doesn’t usu­ally cause any symp­toms, but it in­creases your risk of heart at­tack and stroke. FA­MIL­IAL HY­PER­C­HOLES­TERO­LAEMIA (FH) FH is a ge­netic con­di­tion, passed on by one of your par­ents. When you have FH, your choles­terol is high from birth, whereas most peo­ple’s choles­terol goes up as they get older and they may be 50, 60 or 70 be­fore it’s con­sid­ered high enough to in­crease their risk of heart dis­ease. So it’s not that the choles­terol it­self is any dif­fer­ent, but your risk of heart dis­ease is much higher be­cause you’ve had high choles­terol for much longer.

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