The risk of coronary heart disease rises as blood cholesterol levels increase. When other risk factors are present, this risk increases even more.
Cholesterol is a necessary component of our bodies, but additional dietary cholesterol is not needed. Excess cholesterol in the blood stream can form a thick, hard deposit called plaque in the artery walls. This build-up causes arteries to become thicker, harder and less flexible. When blood flow is restricted, chest pain called angina can result. When blood flow to the heart is severely restricted and a clot stops the flow completely, a heart attack results.