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High cholesterol levels

High cholesterol levels

M175/0427

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Credit

ANIMATED HEALTHCARE LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANIMATED HEALTHCARE LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

High cholesterol levels. Computer artwork of red blood cells and balls of cholesterol (yellow) in a blood vessel. When there are high levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood it builds up on the sides of blood vessels hardening them, a condition named atherosclerosis. This narrows the blood vessels and may even block them, causing a heart attack if the blocked vessel is in the heart, or a stroke if it is in the brain. A group of drugs called statins can be taken to lower LDL-cholesterol. Statins inhibit the enzyme in the liver that synthesises LDL- cholesterol. They also act on the blood vessels, reducing the risk of hardened vessels rupturing or becoming blocked.

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