Family History and Other Characteristics That Increase Risk for High Cholesterol
Genetics and Family History
- Age. Because your cholesterol tends to rise as you get older, your risk for high cholesterol increases with age.
- Sex. Levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, rise more quickly for women than for men. However, until around age 55, women tend to have lower LDL levels than men do.1 At any age, men tend to have lower high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol, than women do.
- Race or ethnicity. Cholesterol levels vary by race, ethnicity, and sex. The chart below shows the percentages of people with high LDL cholesterol (130 mg/dL or more) in the United States.2 What are the ideal levels of cholesterol?
|Racial or Ethnic Group||Men (%)||Women (%)|
- CDC. Health, United States, 2012. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics; 2013.
- Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, Arnett DK, Blaha MJ, Cushman M, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2015 Update: A Report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2014 Dec 17 [Epub ahead of print].