Causes of High Cholesterol
Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease. It also tends to increase your cholesterol levels. Losing weight can help lower your LDL and total cholesterol levels, as well as raise your HDL and lower your triglyceride levels.
Not being physically active is a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Age and Gender
As people get older, their cholesterol levels rise. Before menopause, women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, women's LDL levels tend to rise and their HDL levels decrease. After age 50, women often have higher total cholesterol levels than men of the same age.
Your genes influence how high your LDL cholesterol is by affecting how fast LDL is made and removed from the blood. One specific form of inherited high cholesterol that affects 1 in 500 people is familial hypercholesterolemia, which often leads to early heart disease. But even if you do not have a specific genetic form of high cholesterol, genes play a role in influencing your LDL cholesterol level.