Does high cholesterol cause heart attack?

Like in movies we have a hero who is normally a good guy and a villain who is bad, cholesterol also has 2 types. One is the goodfella called HDL cholesterol and the other bad guy is the LDL cholesterol.

By Sadhna VJ  Published on  21 Feb 2022 8:15 AM GMT
Does high cholesterol cause heart attack?

Doctor, my cholesterol levels are high. Should I be worried? This is one of the most common health questions I get at my clinic every day. I am sure many of you have had similar concerns when you saw your own blood report or that of someone you know. Many labs highlight the abnormal values by using bold font. (It feels like seeing 'FAILED' in the school report card)

So what exactly is cholesterol? Why does your body even need it?

We need a lot of substances to keep our bodies healthy. Cholesterol is one such fat-like substance that is required to keep all tissues healthy, helps in digestion, and to make important hormones including your sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen. (I hope I got your attention with that one) So we need a certain amount and type of cholesterol to be healthy

Why are some types of cholesterol considered 'BAD'?

Like in movies we have a hero who is normally a good guy and a villain who is bad, cholesterol also has 2 types. One is the goodfella called HDL cholesterol and the other bad guy is the LDL cholesterol. HDL stands for High-Density Lipoprotein and LDL for Low-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol. You can consider lipoprotein as a car or transport vehicle which carries both types of cholesterol in your blood pipes from the liver to your tissues and back.

Can high BAD cholesterol level (LDL) cause heart attack?

Yes, it is. Let me try to explain with a simple example. When the Bad cholesterol is high, the excess amount parks itself slowly along the lining of the blood pipes. This happens over several years and the person does not have any symptoms. It is like unauthorized parking along the roads, then a parking shed comes up, later a repair shop and then a coffee shop, etc. All these block the flow of traffic. One fine day, it may suddenly close the entire road and bring traffic to a complete halt. If it happens in the pipes supplying the heart muscles, it is called 'Heart Attack' meaning the heart can stop beating

How will I know that my cholesterol level is high?

You need to get a simple blood test called Lipid profile which may cost around Rs 500-700. You can do it any time of the day.

At what age should I do my first cholesterol test?

· The first test to be done at 25 years.

· If normal once every 5 years till 40 years.

· Annually if you are more than 40 years

How much should my cholesterol levels be?

1. Total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL

2. LDL cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dL

What should I do if my cholesterol levels are high?

Get in touch with your family doctor or a Cholesterol specialist who will advise you on diet control, exercise, and lifestyle changes. In case it is still high, you may require medication.

Stay Safe Stay Healthy

Dr. VJ Sadhna is a medical consultant in Preventive Cardiology. She holds a degree in MBBS and MD from Jipmer Pondicherry. She started Safe Health Heart Centre- the first Preventive Cardiac centre at Hyderabad. She has worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) heading public health programs for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. She is a Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) and a member of British Cardiovascular Society. She specialises in Cholesterol control and detection and prevention of Heart disease and Heart attacks.

To consult Dr. VJ Sadhna, kindly text 9246263355

Next Story
Share it