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 and narrow or even block them. This puts you at risk for coronary artery disease and other heart diseases. Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called lipoproteins. One type, LDL, is sometimes called the “bad” cholesterol. A high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. Another type, HDL, is sometimes called the “good” cholesterol. It carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver.
How much do you know about cholesterol? Here are some common misconceptions — and the reality behind them. High cholesterol can be inherited. This is referred to as familial hypercholesterolemia. Children who have this genetic disorder are at very high risk of heart disease. This problem is underdiagnosed and undertreated worldwide. Once identified, children with this condition may require aggressive treatment with medications.
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