How does heredity affect my risk for high cholesterol?

You're at increased risk if you have a close blood relative - such as a mother, father, sister, brother, or child - who has been diagnosed with high cholesterol or coronary heart disease. Why? Because heart disease tends to run in families. You may also be at risk for a form of inherited high cholesterol called familial hypercholesterolemia.

To reduce your risk, take these actions.


  • See your doctor for a cholesterol test and a complete assessment of your heart health, including a thorough review of your family history.
  • Work on reducing any of your risk factors that you can control. For instance, eat a healthy diet, exercise, lose weight if you are overweight, and quit smoking.

Learn more information about cholesterol and heart health by visiting the following links: