Risk Factors for Heart Disease

High cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like material that is found in all parts of the body. It comes from two sources: it is made in the body by the liver (how much each person makes is determined by genetics); and we get it from eating meat and dairy products. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can narrow or block arteries. This reduces blood flow to the heart and other areas and increases the risk of heart disease. Decreasing blood cholesterol by as little as 10 percent decreases the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol levels can be reduced by alterations in diet and physical activity and by medication.

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