Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) means that your blood has an excess of lipids or fats. Because blood cannot freely flow through your arteries, you are more likely to develop heart disease. It takes time and effort to manage cholesterol.

illustration for Cholesterol in the blood vessels

Discover more about Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance which is essential for the body’s regular functioning. However, having an abnormally high amount of lipids in your blood can be harmful to your health, because it increases the risk of major health problems.

There are two types:

  • HDL, or the good one, transports fats from body cells to the liver. Higher HDL levels are better.
  • LDL, or the bad one, carries lipids to cells that require them. However, too much of it can accumulate in the arterial walls, resulting in artery disease.

Age and sex






People aged 19 years and younger

< 170 mg/dL

< 120 mg/dL

< 110 mg/dL

> 45 mg/dL

Men aged 20 years and older

125 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL

< 130 mg/dL

< 100 mg/dL

40 mg/dL or higher

Women aged 20 years and older

125 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL

< 130 mg/dL

< 100 mg/dL

50 mg/dL or higher

  • Eating high levels of saturated fat
  • Smoking, as there is a chemical component found in cigarettes, prevents HDL from transporting lipids to the liver
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Being diabetics or having high blood pressure
  • Suffering from liver problems or kidney diseases
  • Having a family history of stroke or heart disease
  • Age
  • Sex, LDL levels tend to increase after menopause, whereas HDL levels may decrease. Women, on the other hand, have lower total levels before menopause than men of the same age
2 hearts

Managing Cholesterol

Cholesterol build up in the arteries can limit the blood flow to the body including vital organs such as the heart and brain, and increase the risk of blood clots, so high cholesterol can increase the risk of many problems such as:

  • Atherosclerosis which means narrowing of the arteries
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Transient ischaemic attack
  • Peripheral arterial disease

In most cases, you must fast for 9 to 12 hours before the test. You can only drink water! However, Some associations, however, believe that fasting is not required to provide an accurate picture of lipid levels in the blood.

Also, in certain situations, the test could be performed without fasting, such as for health screenings, which may be true for those under the age of 20 or those who are unable to fast.

  • Stick to a healthy diet and limit your saturated fats intake.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stop smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Manage stress

If these strategies do not work, you should consult your doctor about taking a statin.