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Health Tip: Risk Factors for High Cholesterol?

-- Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that's found naturally in the body. And while some cholesterol is necessary, too much of it built up in the blood increases your risk of heart disease.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers this list of factors that raise your risk of having high blood cholesterol:

  • Eating foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fats.
  • Being overweight. Losing weight can help lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk.
  • Not getting enough exercise. At least 30 minutes a day most days of the week is recommended.
  • Smoking or having high blood pressure.
  • Being a postmenopausal woman. After menopause, levels of LDL ("bad" cholesterol) naturally rise.
  • Advancing age, which is a risk factor for both men and women.
  • A family history of high cholesterol.
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Posted: May 2009