Why does a person have high cholesterol in the arteries if it never showed up in blood exams?

Submitted by Sylvia from Texas on 04/14/2015

by Michael J. Mihalick, MD

Dear Sylvia,

I can’t give you a specific answer without more information. Elevated cholesterol is only one risk factor for atherosclerosis. Family history, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and the types of cholesterol in the blood are also important. We currently think that an individual’s specific genetic make-up can amplify the importance of these other factors (e.g., smoking) and increase their susceptibility to atherosclerosis

See also on this site:

Heart Disease Risk Factors
Heart Information Center