- high cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood
- it's mainly caused by eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol. It can also run in families
- you can lower your cholesterol by eating healthily and getting more exercise. Some people also need to take medicine
- too much cholesterol can block your blood vessels. It makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- high cholesterol does not cause symptoms. You can only find out if you have it from a blood test
Heart UK has separate information about inherited high cholesterol that starts at a young age, called familial hypercholesterolaemia.
Page last reviewed: 15 April 2019
Next review due: 15 April 2022