Cholesterol is a waxy, fatlike substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But if you have too much in your blood, it can stick to the walls of your arteries. This is called plaque. Plaque can narrow your arteries or even block them.

High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart disease. Your cholesterol levels tend to rise as you get older. There are usually no signs or symptoms that you have high blood cholesterol, but it can be detected with a blood test. You are likely to have high cholesterol if members of your family have it, if you are overweight or if you eat a lot of fatty foods.

You can lower your cholesterol by exercising more and eating more fruits and vegetables. You also may need to take medicine to lower your cholesterol.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

Cholesterol, American Heart Association
Information on cholesterol from the national voluntary health agency on cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Cholesterol, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
General information and an interactive cholesterol site, risk calculator and tips for lowering cholesterol from the National Institutes of Health's center for diseases of the heart, lungs and blood.

Get Your Cholesterol Checked

High cholesterol is a risk for heart disease and stroke. Experts recommend adults get their cholesterol levels tested every two to five years (more often if cholesterol levels are high).

Find a Local Heart Disease Class or Screening Event
Search for a class or clinic for community heart disease screenings.

Local Resources

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Testing, Health District
Dates/locations for local blood pressure checks and cholesterol testing from the Health District of Northern Larimer County.

Cholesterol Tests, 9Health Fair
The annual 9Health Fair, which takes place in one or more locations in northern Colorado, provides free and low-cost health awareness and educational screenings, including a blood test for cholesterol.

Poudre River Public Library District
Search the library collection for books about cholesterol and heart disease, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

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