OVERVIEW
Cholesterol is a waxy content that is found in your blood. It is required to build healthy cells, but excess levels of cholesterol can increase the risk of heart diseases. With a high level of cholesterol, fatty deposits can be developed which gets lodged in the blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits grow and create difficulty for easy blood flow. Sometimes those deposits can break suddenly and form into clots and causes a stroke or heart attack.
In medical terms high cholesterol level in blood is known Hypercholesterolemia. This is not a rare condition these days, but it’s often a result of an unhealthy lifestyle choice. According to recent studies, the statistics reported says that high cholesterol is present in 25–30% of urban and 15–20% rural subjects. Compared to developed countries, this prevalence is less. India stands in the borderline for high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, and high triglycerides.
Familial hypercholesterolemia or Pure hypercholesterolemia mainly affects the way, body processes cholesterol. The gene that causes familial cholesterolemia is inherited since the time of birth. So this would be a condition that is present from birth. As a result, people with familial hypercholesterolemia have a higher risk of heart disease and a greater risk of an early heart attack.

CAUSES
Cholesterol is carried to different parts of the body through the blood by attaching with some proteins. This attachment of cholesterol with protein is called a lipoprotein.
Based on what they transport, lipoproteins are of different types, they are:
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – The low-density lipoprotein is commonly known as “bad” cholesterol that transports cholesterol particles throughout the body. LDL cholesterol is lodged in the walls of arteries, making them very hard and narrow.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – The high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol, helps in picking the excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver.
Triglyceride is a type of fat in the blood which in excess is not good for the body. High levels of triglyceride increase the risk of heart diseases.
Familial hypercholesterolemia is caused due to genetic factors that are inherited from the time of birth. Due to this, genes might keep cells from removing bad cholesterol from the blood and cause your liver to produce too much cholesterol.

TYPES
Healthy levels of cholesterol don’t vary much for typical adults. The levels change due to other health conditions.

Types of CholesterolCholesterol levels for adults
 NormalBorderline HighVery high
Total cholesterol<200 mg/dL200-239mg/dL>240mg/dL
Low Density cholesterol<100 mg/dL130-159mg/dL>190mg/dL
High Density cholesterol>60mg/dL41-59mg/dL>40mg/dL
Types of CholesterolCholesterol levels for children
 NormalBorderline HighVery high
Total cholesterol<170 mg/dL170-199mg/dL>200mg/dL
Low Density cholesterol>110 mg/dL110-129mg/dL>130mg/dL

RISK FACTORS
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Unhealthy eating habits such as uneven food timings, overeating
• Lack of exercises
• Obesity
• Diabetes
• Excessive usage of sugar, junk food, and bottled drinks
• Irregular sleeping pattern
• Excess consumption of alcohol
• Smoking
• Age-related

SYMPTOMS
A high level of cholesterol doesn’t exhibit any symptoms. A complete lipid profile can help to know the level and ratio of the cholesterol in the blood. The common symptoms are –
• Weakness in the body even without doing any physical activity
• Breathlessness
• Palpitation
• Difficulty in climbing stairs

COMPLICATIONS
The deposition of high cholesterol in the walls of arteries can reduce the blood flow which will lead to various complications. Due to the accumulation of cholesterol, it results in the disease called as atherosclerosis.
Due to this, the complications are:
• Chest pain – If the pumping of blood to the heart through arteries is slow, there might be chest pain and other symptoms of coronary heart diseases.
• Heart attack – If a rupture of the deposited plaque tears or ruptures, a blood clot can be formed in the site which blocks the free blood flow. This blocks the flow of blood into the heart and causes a heart attack.
• Stroke – Similar to a heart attack, a stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood into a part of the brain.