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Picture of Cholesterol

Cholesterol Illustration

Cholesterol is an essential fatty substance that the body needs for many functions including building cells and manufacturing hormones. Cholesterol exists in different forms. High levels of the so-called “bad” cholesterol -- LDL cholesterol – are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. Excess LDL cholesterol sticks to coronary artery walls causing a buildup of hard plaques. Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is the process of plaque buildup that causes a thickening and narrowing of the blood vessels.

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Text Reference: "High Blood Cholesterol: What You Need to Know." National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.