What Causes and Risk Factors Involved in High Blood Cholesterol Levels

{SCA} The tendency to build up high cholesterol may run in families, but excessively high levels are usually the result of a poor diet high in saturated fats and calories, combined with little or no exercise.

In some cases, an elevated cholesterol level may be associated with an undiagnosed medical condition, such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) or diabetes.

Causes and Risk Factors Involves in High Blood Cholesterol

Variety of factors including heredity, diet, and lifestyle can lead to high cholesterol level in the body. Heredity, age and sex related causes of high cholesterol can not be controlled but you can control your eating habits and physical activities.

Mental Stress

Several studies have suggested that stress increases blood cholesterol levels over the long term. One way that stress may do this is by affecting your habits. Such as, when some people are under stress, they comfort themselves by eating fatty foods and the saturated fat and cholesterol in these foods contribute to higher levels of blood cholesterol.


LDL (bad) cholesterol level may be modestly increased by excess body weight. Weight loss may lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Alcohol Use

Drinking of alcohol in moderate (1-2 drinks daily) increases HDL (good) cholesterol but does not lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Also, it is not confirmed that alcohol reduces the risk of heart disease. Too much alcohol intake can damage the liver and heart muscle, lead to high blood pressure, and increase triglyceride levels. Due to such risks, alcoholic beverages should not be used as a way to prevent heart disease.

Age and Sex

Generally, women have lower total cholesterol levels before menopause than men of the same age. On aging blood cholesterol levels rise until about 60-65 years of age in both women and men. After about age 50 years, women often have higher total cholesterol levels than men of the same age.


Familial hypercholesterolemia is a hereditary form of high cholesterol that may lead to early heart disease. Genes may manipulate how the body metabolizes LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Physical Activity / Exercise

Regular physical activity may lower triglycerides in the body and increase HDL cholesterol levels.