Causes of High Cholesterol Levels
Lifestyle Causes of High Cholesterol
Diet and exercise can play a significant role in an individual’s cholesterol profile. Diets high in saturated fats, sugars, and complex carbohydrates can raise “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Similarly, lack of exercise can lead to increased “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as decreased “good” HDL cholesterol levels.1,2 For more information on diet and exercise see Nutrition and Exercise.
Genetic Causes of High Cholesterol
Of course, elevated cholesterol levels also have a genetic component. (See Familial Hypercholesterolemia). If one of your parents or grandparents or siblings has an elevated cholesterol level, you are at an increased risk for hypercholesterolemia. This risk can usually be mitigated by appropriate lifestyle and medical interventions.
However, in certain individuals with a greater than average genetic predisposition, common treatments to manage elevated cholesterol levels are not adequate. These individuals are at extreme risk for coronary artery disease and require extreme measures to control their cholesterol levels. (See Treatments and Familial Hypercholesterolemia)