Hyperlipidemia (High Cholesterol)

Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) and obesity are both risk factors for developing cardiovascular diseases, but both conditions can be managed. At Wake Forest Baptist Health, we provide caring, expert advice and treatment to help manage high cholesterol and obesity to lower your risk of serious disease. 

What is Hyperlipidemia? 

Hyperlipidemia is high cholesterol, which happens when you have too much cholesterol in your bloodstream. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the fats in your blood. Your cells need cholesterol, and your body makes all it needs. You also get cholesterol from foods you eat.

If you have high cholesterol, it begins to build up in your arteries, which is called plaque. This plaque causes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which can lead to heart disease, heart attack and stroke

Your physician will measure your blood cholesterol levels with a blood test. The American Heart Association recommends using the following numbers to assess your total cholesterol levels: 

  • 240 or higher is high cholesterol. 
  • 200 to 239 is borderline high. 
  • Less than 200 is optimal. 

Hyperlipidemia and Obesity 

Obesity occurs when your body weight is so high that it puts your health in danger. You can use two measurements, body mass index (BMI) and your waist size, to decide whether your weight is dangerously high. 

  • BMI uses your height and weight to determine an index. Obesity is a BMI of 30 or higher. 
  • In women, a waist size of 35 inches or more increases the risk for heart disease. 
  • In men, a waist size of 40 inches or more increases the risk for heart disease. 

Risks and Symptoms of Hyperlipidemia 

Both hyperlipidemia and obesity increase your risk of developing a number of health problems: 

Most people have no symptoms of high cholesterol. That’s why it’s important to have your cholesterol levels checked by your physician at least every three years. 

Diagnosing Hyperlipidemia 

Your physician can diagnose high cholesterol using a blood test, and obesity using your BMI and waist size. Your physician may recommend other tests to evaluate your: 

  • Body fat percentage 
  • Basal metabolic rate: the average daily number of calories your body uses 
  • Blood pressure

Learn more about heart and vascular diagnosis at Wake Forest. 

Treating Hyperlipidemia at Wake Forest Baptist 

Your treatment course will rely heavily on lowering your cholesterol. Our team will work with you to develop key lifestyle changes to improve your heart health. Learn more about our heart health services. 

Hyperlipidemia is reversible in many cases. Your treatment may include: 

  • Medications 
  • Regular exercise 
  • Healthy diet 
  • Quitting smoking 

If your hyperlipidemia is related to obesity, you may also be a candidate for our Weight Management Center

Contact Us  

Request an appointment online. Or, for more information, please call: 

  • 336-716-WAKE or 
  • 888-716-WAKE (toll-free)

 

Quick Reference

Heart & Vascular Center
New Patients

Local 336-716-WAKE
Toll-free 888-716-WAKE

Returning Patients

Vascular 336-716-4151
Heart 336-716-6674

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Last Updated: 05-27-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.