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All You Need to Know About Hypercholesterolemia

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All You Need to Know About Hypercholesterolemia

Cardiology | by Dr. Rakesh Sarkar | Published on 01/09/2023


If you ever experience chest pain or fat buildup, then it might indicate hypercholesterolemia. It is a very common condition and affects one out of every twenty people. One must comprehend that if left untreated, complications can get serious. Often, people don’t experience major symptoms, while some may experience severe symptoms. 

If you are diagnosed with this condition, look for treatment options with the best healthcare professionals. You can book your appointment with one of the best cardiac services, BM Birla Heart Research Center in Kolkata. This is the only hospital in the Eastern region offering cardiology and heart-related services. 

In this blog, we will discuss everything that’s related to hypercholesterolemia, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. Please note that it is for your comprehension only and doesn’t appreciate trying any options to treat the condition on your own. Make sure to get in touch with the doctor if you have high cholesterol-related symptoms.

What is Hypercholesterolemia?

Hypercholesterolemia also known as high cholesterol is a lipid disorder in which both low-density lipoprotein or LDL, and bad cholesterol levels are extremely high. It leads to fat accumulation in the arteries causing atherosclerosis putting the person at a high risk of experiencing a stroke or heart attack. Atherosclerosis is among the primary causes of cardiovascular illness becoming the common reason for several deaths across the world. People who have high cholesterol tend to develop the issue of fatty deposits in their blood vessels. Ultimately, these developed deposits make it complicated for the blood to flow through the arteries smoothly. At times, these deposits can fracture abruptly and make a clot that leads to a heart attack or a stroke.

Hypercholesterolemia can be genetic but often is an outcome of poor lifestyle choices. This condition is preventable and treatable by making healthy choices like regular exercise, a healthy diet, and taking prescribed medications on time to reduce high cholesterol. 

What are the types of Hypercholesterolemia?

Hypercholesterolemia is categorized into two different types such as:

  • Familial hypercholesterolemia- It is a rare inherited condition affecting around one individual among 250 people. It occurs because of mutations in genes that are responsible for removing bad cholesterol from the blood. If any individual has these mutations, then the blood LDL cholesterol can reach extreme levels dangerously. People having this condition are at risk of growing coronary artery diseases at a very young age.
  • Acquired hypercholesterolemia- This type is more common than a familial condition. It occurs usually because of unhealthy diet patterns such as eating excessive amounts of sugar, and saturated and trans fats like red meats, palm or coconut oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil, fast food, and fried foods.

What are Hypercholesterolemia symptoms?

Hypercholesterolemia in most cases doesn’t pose any symptoms. However, some people might not know that they have this condition till the time they suffer a stroke, heart attack, or any other severe problem. Hence, it is important to keep the cholesterol levels in check on a frequent basis. Here are some of the hypercholesterolemia symptoms that might be experienced by some people: 

  • Patches on eyelids that indicate cholesterol levels are high 
  • Severe chest pain or angina 
  • Fat accumulation underneath the skin 

What are Hypercholesterolemia Causes?

There are a number of conditions that are contributing factors in hypercholesterolemia including some medications. Here are the common hypercholesterolemia causes:

  • Hereditary condition, familial hypercholesterolemia 
  • Products containing tobacco 
  • Diabetes 
  • A sedentary lifestyle or not exercising at all 
  • Obstructive liver disease 
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Chronic kidney failure 
  • Nephrotic syndrome 
  • Anorexia nervosa 
  • Amiodarone 
  • Cyclosporine 
  • Hydrochlorothiazide

How is Hypercholesterolemia Diagnosed?

Hypercholesterolemia diagnoses are initiated by asking questions about the health history of a patient and their family. The doctor will also involve physical evaluation, lipid panel blood test after fasting, etc. 

After the doctor is certain about the hypercholesterolemia causes, then genetic testing might be ordered. If the patient has familial hypercholesterolemia, then the doctor will order genetic testing for the entire family.

What are the options for Hypercholesterolemia Treatment?

One of the primary hypercholesterolemia treatment options recommended is lifestyle changes. It involves diet modifications, increasing physical activity, and quitting smoking. Since lifestyle modifications can be hard, make sure to seek help. The healthcare team ensures providing their assistance to guide and offer resources that can assist in achieving the desired goals. 

In certain situations, the doctor might recommend medications that can help reduce the levels of cholesterol. The most commonly prescribed medications are statins for hypercholesterolemia. It restricts the liver from producing extra cholesterol. 


Hypercholesterolemia, also known as high cholesterol has two types that are genetic and acquired. Genetics is among the most common ones affecting adults often. Hypercholesterolemia doesn’t pose any major symptoms, but complications can be serious if left untreated. It is recommended to get frequent preventive checkups to avoid complications. If you suspect any symptoms of hypercholesterolemia, then you must consult the doctor. They will give you medications that can assist in reducing cholesterol. The best way the manage this condition is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.



How does Hypercholesterolemia develop?

Hypercholesterolemia develops mainly because of two reasons which are an unhealthy lifestyle or genetic disorder.

Is familial Hypercholesterolemia dominant or recessive?

Familial hypercholesterolemia is an autosomal recessive dominant condition. 

How to reduce Hypercholesterolemia?

Hypercholesterolemia can be reduced by adopting healthy lifestyle changes and taking the medications as recommended by the doctor.