Hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol, is a common condition where there are high levels of lipids circulating in the blood. This can lead to stroke and heart attack.

Risk Factors

An unhealthy lifestyle is the most common cause of high cholesterol. An unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and smoking all increase your risk for high cholesterol.

Other general risk factors include:

  •  Age – Your risk for developing high cholesterol increases with age.
  • Genetics – Certain genes may cause you to be at a higher risk.
  • Race – Some races may be at a higher risk than others.
  • Weight – Being overweight increases your cholesterol level.


While there are usually no symptoms of hyperlipidemia, the condition can be diagnosed with a blood test.

Detection and Diagnosis

A doctor may diagnose high cholesterol based on medical and family history, a physical examination or if you display consistently high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels on multiple blood tests.


To manage your cholesterol level, your doctor may recommend you eat a healthy diet, quit smoking, manage your weight and exercise more. Medications can also help lower your cholesterol level.