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Cholesterol is one of the fats present in the body. It is essential for life, and is found in all human and animal tissue. It is carried around the body by the blood.
Some cholesterol comes directly from food, and the liver makes some. High blood cholesterol is usually due eating too much fat. It can also be caused by not getting enough exercise. Sometimes high cholesterol runs in the family.

High blood cholesterol can cause health problems. The main one is heart disease, such as heart attacks. High blood cholesterol levels cause fatty streaks to build up inside blood vessels, resulting in blockage and blood cannot flow through them. If this happens in the coronary arteries of the heart, the result is damage to the heart
muscle and can cause a heart attack.

High blood cholesterol is only one of several things, which can lead to heart disease. Other things include smoking, high blood pressure, stress and lack of physical exercise.

There are three main ways to reduce cholesterol levels. The first is to make changes to what you eat. The second is to increase your physical activity.
The third is to take medication.
Changing your eating habits is the best way to lower your cholesterol. Saturated fats (such as butter) tend to raise cholesterol. Reducing the saturated fat intake can lower down cholesterol level in the blood by 20 per cent.

Regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease. Try to take regular, moderate exercise. If possible, make it part of your daily routine.
Medication can be an effective way of lowering high cholesterol levels. It is usually taken over a long term period.

At the surgery, we identify all patients with heart disease and place them on a ‘register’ or list within the practice. This register is then used to ensure that all patients with heart disease are offered a clinic appointment at least once a year. This appointment is designed to ensure patients are receiving the correct treatment for their condition and aims to promote their health for the future and prevent them suffering further heart damage.

The clinic health check would usually include a blood test, pulse and blood pressure monitoring, and weight and height measurement. A full review of medication, symptoms and the patient’s heart condition should be performed, along with health advice around diet, exercise and smoking. The Practice Nurse carries out this assessment, supported by the GP.

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