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Hypercholesterolaemia or hyperlipidaemia are the medical names for an increased level of cholesterol and other fatty substances as triglycerides in blood. When your total cholesterol level exceeds 5 mmol/l you need to take action.
With a high cholesterol level you have up to 40% higher chance of getting a cardiovascular disease, a heart disease or a blood-vessel related disease. People with hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, an existing heart disease, hereditary hypercholesterolaemia and cigarette smokers have an increased risk.
Before you start with medication you have to begin a diet low in animal fat with lots of vegetables, fruits and fish. Lifestyle changes will need to be enforced in your daily activites like lowering alcohol consumption and getting physical exercise to reduce your weight in order to get your cholesterol level below the critical 5 mmol/l limit.
Smokers are advised to quit smoking in order to get and maintain a heathy cholesterol level.
If changing your diet and lifestyle does not bring you within a normal cholesterol level, your doctor may advise different medications.
Only a medical doctor can diagnose hypercholesterolaemia or hyperlipidaemia. If you have been diagnosed with either of these conditions there may be a good chance that you will need to use medication for the rest of your life. Monitoring your cholesterol level should be part of managing your health particularly if you are over the age of 40.
The ‘statins’ are inhibitors of an enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) which is needed for the cholesterol synthesis. By inhibiting this enzyme less cholesterol is made, especially of the most harmful LDL- (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol fraction. At the same time the statins also reduce triglycerides somewhat and increase the HDL-(High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol fraction, the so called good cholesterol. The statins are generally considered to be the most effective cholesterol-lowering drugs.