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Cholesterol is a type of fat (lipid) in your blood. Your body needs some cholesterol. But if you have too much, it can build up in your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
You can get high cholesterol by eating foods that have too much cholesterol and saturated fat or by having an inherited condition that causes high cholesterol.
Last Revised: October 9, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology & Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
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