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Overview - High cholesterol

High cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood.

High cholesterol is mainly caused by:

  • eating fatty food
  • not exercising enough
  • being overweight
  • smoking
  • drinking alcohol

It can also run in families.

You can lower your cholesterol by eating healthily and getting more exercise. Some people also need to take medicine.

Too much cholesterol can block your blood vessels. It makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke.

High cholesterol does not cause symptoms. You can only find out if you have it from a blood test.

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

Page last reviewed: 24 March 2021
Next review due: 24 March 2024

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.