From heart disease to stroke, the health consequences of high cholesterol are reaching epidemic proportions. Millions of Americans live with heart disease and millions more have the risk factors for high cholesterol. Learn more about how high cholesterol leads to serious health complications by taking this quiz.
The ground-breaking Framingham Heart Study in 1948 revealed the strong correlation between high cholesterol and coronary heart disease.
Coronary atherosclerosis is when fat deposits accumulate in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This can result in a loss of blood supply to the heart, causing a heart attack.
Typically, the narrowing of coronary blood vessels due to plaque accumulation occurs over decades. The symptoms of coronary atherosclerosis are years in the making.
Fatty streaks damage the thin cell layers of the artery wall lining by over-stimulating the cells to absorb more cholesterol than usual.
Simple plaque build-up can become complicated when calcium accumulates, which results in hardening of the plaque. Complications also ensue when blood cots occur in the bloodstream.
There may be serious health consequences if artery plaque tears or ruptures. A plaque tear causes heavy bleeding and clotting in the artery, which may result in a complete obstruction of the artery and possible heart attack.
Angina symptoms include chest pain and shortness of breath. It is the result of a coronary artery narrowing by 30 percent.
The blood supply to your heart is cut off during a heart attack. This can result in a portion of your heart dying or your heart beating rapidly and uncontrollably (arrhythmia).
The main risk factor for developing metabolic syndrome is poor lifestyle choices, including: excessive weight gain in childhood and adulthood, excessive calorie intake, and sedentary lifestyle. Genetics is also a risk factor for developing metabolic syndrome.
American consumption of french fries is reaching epidemic proportions. French fries are a known contributor of high cholesterol and coronary heart disease and are consumed by Americans in excessively high amounts.
Half a million people die each year from heart attacks and 13 million people live with heart disease.
Healthy arteries should feel smooth and flexible. Arteries should be able to move with the flow of blood and the rhythm of the heart.
Consumption of trans fat is extremely dangerous for a woman's health. Increasing trans fat intake by two percent increases a woman's risk of developing heart disease by 93 percent.
The United States Drug Administration recommends limiting your daily intake of trans fat to one percent of your total daily calories. This limits your daily trans fat intake to about 20 calories or 2 grams.
You used to get four times your recommended daily intake of trans fat from one serving of french fries. Yikes! Most fast food restaurants, however, have now eliminated trans fat from their fried food.
Blocked arteries can also cause reduced blood flow to the arms and legs, also known as peripheral vascular disease. Complete loss of blood flow to an arm or leg can result in gangrene and amputation.
A transient ischemic attack, also known as a mini stroke, occurs when a small clot breaks off in an artery that sends blood to the brain.
Damage to the endothelium, also known as the thin layers of artery walls, is caused by smoking, high blood pressure, and oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Saturated and trans fat sticks to artery walls, creating a sticky texture instead of a smooth one. The body's immune system tries to fix the narrowing of the artery walls, but ultimately makes the walls even stickier.
Consumption of both trans and saturated fat can lead to health consequences. Trans fat, however, places you at greater risk for atherosclerosis and heart disease.