Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Is high cholesterol age-related?"

ZocdocAnswersIs high cholesterol age-related?


I am a 30 year old, otherwise healthy male, but my doctor says my cholesterol is high. He says I have a high HDL and LDL. Is high cholesterol only a problem for older people?


High cholesterol is also known as hypercholesterolemia. It is a silent health risk that can be deadly when abnormal cholesterol levels such as high HDL cholesterol or low LDL cholesterol can lead to heart disease and stroke. Older people are not the only ones affected by high cholesterol. Children also may have high levels of cholesterol, which can cause health problems when the child gets older. That said, your risk increases as you get older. Men aged 45 years or older and women aged 55 years or older are particularly at increased risk of developing high cholesterol. An unhealthy diet of saturated fat and cholesterol can contribute to high cholesterol. But elevated high cholesterol levels are not the source of high-cholesterol diet alone. A combination of factors- those that you can't change (uncontrollable risks) and those that you can (controllable risks such as diet, weight, activity level, smoking, etc.) are risk factors contributing to high cholesterol. Uncontrollable risks include your age (i.e., over 45 years old), being a male, and heredity. It is important to get regular cholesterol checkups as you get older, especially you being a male. It is good idea to work closely with your doctor to develop a safe and effective cholesterol-lowering plan. I would recommend a visit with a family doctor.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.