Apr 18, 2024, 11:40 AM IST

8 Effects of Bad Cholesterol on Body

Emily Horn

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1. Increased Risk of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)  

High levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, narrowing and hardening them. This condition, known as atherosclerosis, increases the risk of coronary artery disease, which can lead to chest pain (angina) and heart attacks.

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2. Stroke 

Atherosclerosis can also affect arteries that supply blood to the brain. When these arteries are blocked, it can lead to a stroke, which occurs when parts of the brain don’t receive enough oxygen and nutrients.

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3. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) 

High LDL cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis in the arteries of the legs and arms, leading to peripheral arterial disease. This can result in pain and fatigue in the limbs, especially during physical activity.

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4. Reduced Blood Flow 

The narrowing of arteries reduces the flow of blood throughout the body. This reduction can cause pain, limit physical abilities, and reduce the effectiveness of organ and muscle function.

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5. Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) 

As arteries become stiff and narrowed due to plaque buildup, the heart must work harder to pump blood through them, which can raise blood pressure.

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6. Impaired Cognitive Function 

Studies suggest that high levels of bad cholesterol might be associated with an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline, possibly due to reduced blood flow to the brain.

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7. Kidney Disease 

Atherosclerosis can also affect the arteries leading to the kidneys, impairing their ability to filter blood effectively. This can lead to chronic kidney disease.

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8. Heart Failure 

Over time, high LDL cholesterol can contribute to the weakening of the heart muscle due to increased heart workload and decreased coronary blood flow. This can lead to heart failure, a condition where the heart is unable to pump effectively.

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