Cholesterol and Heart Disease – The Relation

Heart disease is the major cause for deaths in the United States and according to the Centers for Disease Control, it was estimated that 1 out of 6 adults develop high blood cholesterol. The risk of heart diseases can be reduced by controlling the cholesterol levels. Heredity plays an important role in cholesterol levels. And even diet and exercise also influence cholesterol levels.

Identification and Function

  • Cholesterol is a very important substance essential for the body. It is produced in the body as well as obtained from the food we eat. About 75% of cholesterol is made by the liver and the remaining 25% is obtained through animal foods.
  • Cholesterol is a fatty and waxy substance that helps in making nerve sheaths, cell walls and hormones.
  • Bad cholesterol is needed by the body only to a less extent. It helps in transporting the cholesterol from liver to metabolism region.
  • Good cholesterol helps in eliminating the excess bad cholesterol by transporting it back to the liver.

Significance of Cholesterol Levels and Heart Disease

  • The ideal cholesterol score is 200 mg/Dl and this is the total cholesterol score. But to know whether the cholesterol levels are healthy or not, we should also know the individual HDL and LDL cholesterol levels. The healthy cholesterol score is 60 mg and above for HDL and 100 a�� 129 for LDL.
  • If the HDL levels are high, it is very easy for them to carry away the excess LDL cholesterol from the body. If the LDL cholesterol levels go too high, it will be difficult for the body to eliminate the cholesterol as it forms plaque in the arteries leading to heart disease risks.

When the lower LDL levels are coupled with higher HDL levels, it is considered to be a healthy cholesterol level in the body.

Risk Factors

  • Obesity and smoking are the two main risk factors that lead to high cholesterol and heart disease. Intake of diet rich in saturated fats that include dairy products and red meat increase the cholesterol levels making the person obese and at the same time increasing the risk of heart disease. Smoking damages the walls of blood vessels where in cholesterol can get deposited leading to the heart risk.
  • Lack of exercises, family history and diabetes are also other risk factors of high cholesterol and heart disease.

Link Between Cholesterol and Heart Disease

  • Cholesterol is linked to heart disease. the excess bad cholesterol levels get built up in the walls of arteries leading to heart disease risks.
  • The risk factors of both cholesterol and heart disease are the same.
  • Healthy levels of good and bad cholesterol decrease the heart disease risks.

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