High Cholesterol

What is high cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance (lipid) which is vital for normal and healthy functioning of the body. However, having high levels of cholesterol in your blood can have a detrimental effect on your health. Having a high cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Cholesterol is carried in your blood in various forms. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) carries cholesterol from your liver where it is made to the rest of the body. If there is too much LDL it can collect in the walls of arteries and cause narrowing that can lead to heart disease or strokes. LDL is often therefore referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol. On the other hand, high density lipoprotein (HDL) carries cholesterol away from the body back to the liver where it is broken down and therefore HDL is referred to as good cholesterol.


How is cholesterol assessed?

The amount of good and bad cholesterol can be measured in your blood stream with a simple blood test. In association with other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and family history, the results can be used to assess your risk of developing heart attacks or strokes.


What are the treatments for high cholesterol?

Lowering a high cholesterol level requires a number of lifestyle changes including maintaining a healthy balanced diet, reducing your fat intake, eating more fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals, quit smoking and doing regular exercise. If these measures don't reduce your cholesterol and you continue to be at a high risk of heart disease, you may need cholesterol-lowering medication such as statins. Your cardiologist will be able to advise you on the best treatment options.

  • Bioresorbable Scaffolds (Stents)

    This is a biodegradable device that can be used like a coronary stent. [READ MORE]

  • Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (CPET)

    This test shows how the heart, lungs and muscles react when exercise is undertaken. [READ MORE]

  • Carotid Doppler

    This is an ultrasound imaging test used to help determine the condition of the carotid artery. [READ MORE]

  • Coronary Angiogram

    This minimally invasive procedure is used to visualise the coronary arteries and assess the severity of any blockage. [READ MORE]

  • Coronary Angioplasty

    This minimally invasive procedure is used to treat narrowing of the coronary arteries. [READ MORE]

  • CTCA Scan & Calcium Score

    This scan is used to ascertain the risk of a heart attack or stroke within the next 5-10 years. [READ MORE]

  • Exercise Tolerance Testing

    This test measures the effects on the heart rhythm and blood pressure when exercise is undertaken. [READ MORE]

  • MRI Scan / CMR Scan

    These scans enable cardiologists to view detailed images of the heart’s anatomy. [READ MORE]

  • Stress Echocardiography

    This is a procedure that uses ‘echo’ and ECG to assess how the heart’s blood vessels are working using either exercise or a drug to increase the heart rate. [READ MORE]



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