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What causes high cholesterol levels?

The majority of cholesterol is made in the body, but some is found in the foods we eat. Regardless of where it comes from, having too much - specifically, too much LDL-C - can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.1,2

Genetics and Cholesterol

Inherited conditions can be passed on through families and can affect people of any age. It’s estimated that around 600,000 people in the UK are living with a faulty gene that can cause an inherited heart condition. 3

Genetic conditions, like familial hypercholesterolaemia, can determine how much cholesterol is found in your body and high cholesterol can run in certain families.4

Lifestyle and cholesterol management

Lifestyle Management

Lifestyle factors like diet and exercise can also have an influence on your cholesterol level. Changing to a healthier diet and being more active can have a positive impact on your heart health and could help reduce your cholesterol levels by over 10%. Find out more here.1


Familial Hypercholesterolaemia

Learn about the genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). FH is an inherited condition where an altered gene(s) causes exceptionally high cholesterol levels in the blood.4

Find more information and frequently asked questions about the condition here.


  1. British Heart Foundation. Reducing your blood cholesterol. Available at: [Last accessed 8 August 2018]
  2. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. What is Cholesterol. Available at: [Last accessed 8 August 2018]
  3. British Heart Foundation. CVD Statistics - BHF UK Factsheet. Available at: [Last accessed 8 August 2018]
  4. British Heart Foundation. Life with Familial hypercholesterolaemia. Available at: [Last accessed 8 August 2018]