High Cholesterol Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the High Cholesterol article.

Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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Absorption: Uptake. For example, intestinal absorption is the uptake of food (or other sub...

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Aerobic: Oxygen-requiring. Aerobic bacteria need oxygen to grow. Aerobic exercise requires...

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Aerobic exercise: Brisk exercise that promotes the circulation of oxygen through the blood...

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Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The pain is ...

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Angioedema: Like hives but affects deeper skin layer.

Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the far...

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Bile: Bile is a yellow-green fluid that is made by the liver, stored in the gallbladder an...

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Bile acid: An acid made by the liver that works with bile to break down fats.

Blood clot: A mass of coagulated blood. A blood clot can block a major blood vessel, causi...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Blood sugar: Blood glucose. See also: High blood sugar; Low blood sugar.

Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Carbohydrates: Mainly sugars and starches, together constituting one of the three principa...

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Carotid: Pertaining to the carotid artery and the area near that key artery, which is loca...

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Carotid artery: Either of the two key arteries located in the front of the neck, through w...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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Claudication: Limping. From the Latin claudicare, which means 'to limp.' The Roman emperor...

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Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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Coronary arteries: The vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood rich in oxygen. The...

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Diabetes: Usually refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabe...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Dilating: The widening and opening of an opening, such as the cervix or esophagus. For exa...

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Familial: A condition that tends to occur more often in family members than is expected by...

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Familial hypercholesterolemia: The most common inherited type of hyperlipidemia (high lipi...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Father: (1) The male parent. (2) One who originates. For example, "Wilhelm Roentgen is con...

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Fiber: The parts of fruits and vegetables that cannot be digested. Fiber is of vital impor...

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Gallstones: Stones that form when substances in the bile harden. Gallstones can be as smal...

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Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large inte...

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Gastrointestinal tract: The stomach and intestines. Abbreviated GI tract.

Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Gout: Condition characterized by abnormally elevated levels of uric acid in the blood, rec...

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HDL: High density lipoprotein.

HDL cholesterol: High density lipoprotein cholesterol. Lipoproteins, which are combination...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Heart muscle: A type of muscle with unique features only found in the heart. The heart mus...

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Heredity: The genetic transmission of characteristics from parent to child.

High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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High blood sugar: An elevated level of the sugar glucose in the blood. Also called hypergl...

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Hot flashes: A sudden wave of mild or intense body heat caused by rushes of hormonal chang...

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Hypercholesterolemia: High blood cholesterol. This can be sporadic (occurring with no fami...

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Insulin: A natural hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of the sugar gluco...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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LDL cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, commonly referred to as 'bad' choles...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Lipid: Another word for "fat." (Please see the various meanings of fat.) A lipid is chemic...

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Lipitor: See: Atorvastatin.

Lipoprotein: A molecule that is a combination of lipid and protein. Lipids do not travel i...

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Lipoproteins: Complexes of lipid and protein, the way lipids travel in the blood.

Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Menopause: The time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop; it is also ...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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National Cholesterol Education Program: NCEP. A program designed to reduce illness and dea...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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NCEP: The National Cholesterol Education Program. See: National Cholesterol Education Prog...

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Niacin: Nicotinic acid, one of the B-complex vitamins-B 3. Deficiency of niacin in the die...

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Nicotinic acid: Deficiency of nicotinic acid (also known as niacin), one of the B-complex ...

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Nutrition: 1: The process of taking in food and using it for growth, metabolism, and repai...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Overweight: The term "overweight" is used in two different ways. In one sense it is a way ...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Peripheral artery disease: A form of peripheral vascular disease in which there is partial...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Prevalence: The proportion of individuals in a population having a disease or characterist...

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Rhabdomyolysis: A condition in which skeletal muscle is broken down, releasing muscle enzy...

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Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. For exam...

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Rupture: A break or tear in any organ (such as the spleen) or soft tissue (such as the ach...

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Saturated fat: A fat that contains only saturated fatty acids, is solid at room temperatur...

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Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sen...

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Statins: A class of drugs that lower cholesterol.

Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stool: The solid matter that is discharged in a bowel movement.

Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A p...

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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Toxicity: The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. ...

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Triglycerides: The major form of fat stored by the body. A triglyceride consists of three ...

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Unsaturated fat: A fat that is liquid at room temperature and comes from a plant, such as ...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Vitamin D: A steroid vitamin which promotes the intestinal absorption and metabolism of ca...

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