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What are the common factors that can influence high cholesterol levels?

Elevated cholesterol levels, particularly LDL cholesterol, can be attributed to several factors, including:

  • Dietary Choices: A diet rich in saturated and trans fats, commonly found in red meat, full-fat dairy products, and processed foods, can lead to an increase in LDL cholesterol levels.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Physical inactivity can contribute to an unfavorable lipid profile, including elevated LDL cholesterol.

  • Genetic Predisposition: Familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetic condition characterized by inherited high cholesterol levels, which can significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

  • Obesity: Excess body weight, particularly abdominal obesity, is associated with higher levels of LDL cholesterol and lower levels of HDL cholesterol.

  • Smoking: Smoking not only damages blood vessels but also reduces HDL cholesterol levels while increasing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, further promoting atherosclerosis.

  • Age and Gender: Cholesterol levels tend to rise with age, and men typically have higher cholesterol levels than premenopausal women.

  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and kidney disease, can impact cholesterol metabolism and contribute to elevated levels.

Addressing high cholesterol levels typically necessitates lifestyle modifications, including dietary changes, increased physical activity, smoking cessation, and, in some instances, medication prescribed by a healthcare provider. Regular cholesterol screenings and consultations with a healthcare professional are imperative for the management of cardiovascular health.


References:

  1. Visconti L, Benvenga S, Lacquaniti A, Cernaro V, Bruzzese A, Conti G, Buemi M, Santoro D. Lipid disorders in patients with renal failure: Role in cardiovascular events and progression of chronic kidney disease. J Clin Transl Endocrinol. 2016 Aug 20;6:8-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jcte.2016.08.002. PMID: 29067238; PMCID: PMC5644460.


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