Why do I have high cholesterol?


There are various physical and lifestyle factors that can increase the likelihood of developing high blood cholesterol. Being aware of risk factors will help to identify the changes necessary to lower risk. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Eating too much saturated fat.
  • Medical conditions such as an underactive thyroid gland or chronic kidney failure.
  • Family history: If a parent of grandparent had high cholesterol, this trait can be inherited. Some people have naturally very high blood cholesterol levels, due to a rare hereditary condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). If one family member is diagnosed with FH, it is vitally important that all members of the family have a full fasting lipogram done to test if they also have FH.
  • Physical inactivity.
  • Being overweight or obese, especially around the middle. Being overweight increases the chances of abnormal cholesterol levels. People with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome often have low HDL cholesterol levels and elevated triglyceride levels.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Smoking and tobacco use.