Search the Health Library
Get the facts on diseases, conditions, tests and procedures.
I Want To...
I Want To...
Find Research Faculty
Enter the last name, specialty or keyword for your search below.
School of Medicine
Conditions We Treat: High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia)
High cholesterol is too much blood cholesterol, particularly that stored in low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Although the body needs some cholesterol to function, the liver manufactures the required amount on its own. Poor diet and lack of exercise increase LDL, which delivers some of this fatty substance to the blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis.
High Cholesterol: What You Need to Know
- Cholesterol levels must be managed over a lifetime, because a lifetime of fatty deposits in the arteries leads to cardiovascular disease, the number one killer in America.
- The goal of your treatment is to lower LDL and triglycerides, another fatty substance in the blood, while raising HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which helps remove LDL from the bloodstream.
- Lifestyle changes, such as exercising and altering your diet, is sometimes sufficient to treat your high cholesterol. Your doctor may also prescribe medication.
- High cholesterol is just one of several risk factors for heart disease.
There are many names for what we commonly call high cholesterol. You may also encounter the terms hypercholesterolemia (too much cholesterol), hyperlipidemia (too many fats) or dyslipidemia (the wrong ratio of good and bad fats).
Scientists' understanding of cholesterol has evolved. Watch an online health seminar: Cholesterol — The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Why choose Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute for treatment of high cholesterol?
Our preventive cardiologists specialize in helping patients learn to control their cholesterol through a combination of behavior change and advanced medicine.
Our Specialty Centers
The Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease takes a multidisciplinary approach to helping you prevent heart disease and stroke — and that includes getting your cholesterol in check.