Heart Disease – Hyperlipidemia (High Cholesterol)
Cholesterol plays an important part in keeping your body working. Having too much (or high) cholesterol is bad but balance is key.6

Cholesterol 101

  • Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your liver produces. It is also found in many foods. 
  • Having high cholesterol can clog your blood vessels and increase your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Many people don’t know they have high cholesterol.
  • The only way to know if your cholesterol is high is to ask your physician to check your cholesterol.

The Three Parts of Cholesterol

  • LDL Cholesterol – Often called “bad” cholesterol, LDL cholesterol can cause clots in your blood vessels.1
  • HDL Cholesterol – Often called “good” cholesterol, HDL cholesterol helps keep your blood vessels clean by returning cholesterol to your liver for removal from the body.2
  • Triglycerides – Another type of fat made by your liver, triglycerides are found in food you eat.
What You Can Control: What You Cannot Control:

Avoid eating foods high in fat, like pre-packaged baked goods and processed meat (e.g., hot dogs, sausage, bologna).

Family history – Genetics plays a large role in your health.
Eat healthy food, like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and food high in fiber. Age – As a person ages, LDL cholesterol levels tend to rise.

Exercise regularly – The American Heart Association recommends between 30 and 45 minutes of moderate-intensity activity at least three times every week.

Cholesterol Goals

  • Lowering your LDL “bad” cholesterol has been proven to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.1
  • Your physician can advise you on your target cholesterol goals.

Cholesterol Medication

  • Taking statins may help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and increase HDL “good” cholesterol.
  • Your physician may want you to take a statin (a pill) once a day, usually at night before bedtime. Always follow your physician’s instructions.
  • If you miss a dose of medicine, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses within 12 hours of each other.
  • Wait at least 2 hours after taking your statin to take an antacid or multivitamin, if you take them.
  • Before starting any new medication, make sure your doctor has a list of all other medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take.
  • Side effects of taking a statin may include muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (known as myopathy). If you experience any side effects, your physician may be able to switch you to a statin with a lower risk of side effects.
  • Your risk for side effects may increase if you:
    • Take medication that interacts with your statin
    • Are of advanced age
    • Have kidney problems
    • Have low thyroid levels that are not controlled
  • Contact your doctor if:
    • You experience muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness that comes on suddenly or gets increasingly worse.
    • You are more tired than usual, especially if you have a fever.
    • Your doctor told you to stop taking your statin and you continue to experience muscle problems.

The above refers to general health-related information and is not a substitute for professional health care. For individualized medical guidance, talk to your doctor.


1LDL and HDL: “Bad” and “Good” Cholesterol. (2020, January 31). Retrieved April 26, 2022, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

2Knowing Your Risk for High Cholesterol. (2020, January 31). Retrieved April 26, 2022, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

3Prevention and Treatment of High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia). (November 11, 2020). Retrieved April 26, 2022, from American Heart Association

4National Cholesterol Education Program. Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III) Final Report.

5Hypertriglyceridemia Management According to the 2018 AHA/ACC Guideline. (2019, January 11). Retrieved April 26, 2022, from American College of Cardiology

6Cholesterol Numbers; What Do They Mean. (July 31, 2020). Retrieved April 26, 2020, from Cleveland Clinic

7Cholesterol Medications. (November 11, 2020) Retrieved April 26, 2022, from American Heart Association