(SCIENCEPRO/Science Photo Library, Getty Images) High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease, but not all forms of it are the same. An underdiagnosed genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolemia can cause dangerously high levels of cholesterol at an early age. While scientists have determined FH is caused by genetic mutations that affect the body’s…

(Image Source/Getty Images) LDL cholesterol – the so-called “bad” cholesterol – is known to narrow arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. It’s also now suspected of contributing to venous thromboembolism, new research suggests. The preliminary study, presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association’s Vascular Discovery Scientific Sessions, looked at genes and proteins…

Carl Korfmacher and his sons inherited high cholesterol. The Korfmacher family (from left): Sons, Henry and Owin; dad, Carl; mom, Krista; and Carl’s mom, Louise. (Photo courtesy of Carl Korfmacher) Carl Korfmacher was 9 years old when his father, Ron, returned from the Mayo Clinic for a checkup in the early 1970s. Though he was…

(Hero Images, Getty Images) As in most things, family matters. Specifically, your family’s ethnicity could make a difference, at least when it comes to cholesterol and your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. In a recent update of cholesterol guidelines, a national panel of scientists and health experts stressed a more personalized approach…

(rogerashford, Getty Images) The benefits of the cholesterol-lowering medicine called statins far outweigh any risk of side effects, according to a new analysis of decades of scientific research. In fact, side effects of statins are rare, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement published Monday in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. Lynne Braun,…

(Sitthiphong, Getty Images) When doctors are sorting out what to do about a patient’s cholesterol, a key calculation is that patient’s future risk for developing heart disease. But what if that risk is uncertain? New cholesterol guidelines released Saturday suggest it can help to have a coronary artery calcium test when risk status for people…

(Scott Bodell for American Heart Association) Exposure to high blood cholesterol over a lifetime can increase the risk for heart attack or stroke, and new scientific guidelines say managing this waxy, fat-like substance in the blood should be a concern for all ages. The guidelines, published Saturday in the journal Circulation, are meant to help…

(Scott Bodell for American Heart Association) With the release of new guidelines for treating and managing cholesterol, you may have some questions – not only about the changes in the update, but about cholesterol itself. Let’s start by acknowledging that while cholesterol is often talked about, it’s tricky to understand. You probably know that high…

An LDL cholesterol particle (left) next to an HDL particle. (selvanegra/Getty Images) Researchers have proposed a unique study in humans to reduce the early onset of atherosclerosis, the buildup of the artery-clogging plaque that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. The report, published Thursday in the Journal of the American Heart Association(link opens in new window), reviews a…

Healthy people with a low risk of cardiovascular disease may still need to keep a close eye on their cholesterol, according to new research. A study(link opens in new window), published recently in the journal Circulation, found that otherwise healthy people with high LDL cholesterol levels are at higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease…