Cardiology

Inherited high cholesterol: Can nutrition help?

"My cholesterol is too high," a patient explained. "But I can't help it. It's hereditary." She was right. Her type of high cholesterol is called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). It's an inherited genetic defect that causes ...

Medical research

A new contributor to atherosclerosis

Free radicals produced during oxidative stress react with membrane fatty acids to yield highly reactive lipid aldehydes, which can modify proteins and cause cellular or tissue damage.

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Hypercholesterolemia

Hypercholesterolemia is the presence of high levels of cholesterol in the blood. It is not a disease but a metabolic derangement that can be caused by many diseases, notably cardiovascular disease. It is closely related to the terms "hyperlipidemia" (elevated levels of lipids in the blood) and "hyperlipoproteinemia" (elevated levels of lipoproteins in the blood).

Elevated cholesterol in the blood is due to abnormalities in the levels of lipoproteins, the particles that carry cholesterol in the bloodstream. This may be related to diet, genetic factors (such as LDL receptor mutations in familial hypercholesterolemia) and the presence of other diseases such as diabetes and an underactive thyroid. The type of hypercholesterolemia depends on which type of particle (such as low-density lipoprotein) is present in excess.

Hypercholesterolemia is treated by reducing dietary cholesterol intake, administration of certain medications, and rarely with other treatments including surgery (for particular severe subtypes).

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