Why is it important to know and manage your total cholesterol?

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.