Risks of High Cholesterol Don’t Come From Family History

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Cholesterol
Last Reviewed 03/28/2014

The true risks of high cholesterol depend on your cholesterol fractions and other heart disease risk factors not your family history.

Risks of High Cholesterol Don’t Come From Family HistoryTranscript

Dr. Sinatra: This is a question from one of my e-letter subscribers. Dear Dr. Sinatra: I have a family history of high cholesterol. Am I at greater risk for heart disease and should I take special precautions?

Folks, I get this question often and I have to tell you that if you have a high cholesterol level and it runs in your family and your family members are living into their 80s and 90s, don't worry about it. I mean, look-cholesterol could be a risk factor for heart disease. It's found at the scene of the crime, but it's not the perpetrator.

However, if you do have a family of heart disease and your cholesterol is high, then you want to know about other important risk factors. For example, do I have elevated C-reactive protein? Do I have elevated fibrinogen? Do I have elevated Lp(a) or homocysteine?

Now, if your high cholesterol keeps company with these other components, I call it toxic blood syndrome. If you have toxic blood or inflammatory blood with a high cholesterol level and a positive family history, well, then you need to take precautions. Then you really need to take a look at your cholesterol, see how it's fractionated, see where the problem is, and then take some measures to neutralize it. But if you have a family history, it's one thing; if your family history is negative, don't worry.

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