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Cholesterol is an important type of fat (lipid) that is made by
the body. It is needed for the body to function. It also is found in foods that
are made from animal products (meat and dairy products).
need cholesterol to function. But excess cholesterol in the blood builds
up in blood vessels and may lead to hardening of the arteries
(atherosclerosis), heart disease, and stroke. People who have diabetes are at
higher risk for atherosclerosis.
There are two main
forms of cholesterol:
A person's cholesterol level can be checked with a blood
Current as of:
March 12, 2014
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology & Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
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