- High cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood.
- It's mainly caused by eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol. It can also run in families.
- You can lower your cholesterol by eating healthily and getting more exercise. Some people also need to take medicine.
- Too much cholesterol can block your blood vessels. It makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke.
- High cholesterol does not cause symptoms. You can only find out if you have it from a blood test.
Heart UK has separate information about inherited high cholesterol that starts at a young age (familial hypercholesterolaemia).
Find out about familial hypercholesterolaemia on the Heart UK website
Page last reviewed: 13 July 2022
Next review due: 13 July 2025