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How does cholesterol affect your health

Cholesterol, in moderate levels, is essential for the proper functioning of the body. But it is very important to control the quantity of cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream. Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can cause cholesterol to build up in the artery walls, which could contribute to blood clots. Blood clots in the arteries that supply the heart and brain can reduce the blood flow to these organs, which could contribute to heart attack / stroke.
Within Ireland, 82% of the population aged 45 years and over have raised cholesterol of which 62% are not on any type of cholesterol-lowering medication1. High cholesterol has been identified as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. 17% of deaths in Ireland in 2008 were as a result of heart disease2.