Most people know that high cholesterol isn’t good for the heart. However, not many are aware that this condition also affects many other parts of the body. Here are some diseases that have been associated with high cholesterol:
The fat deposits in your arteries may cause the arteries to harden, resulting in a condition called atherosclerosis. This condition influences your heart as well as your brain. If a blood vessel responsible for providing blood for your brain is blocked, you may have a stroke.
Type 2 diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes are more susceptible to high cholesterol. Even if the condition is well controlled, it can still elevate the level of cholesterol in your blood, particularly LDL, the bad cholesterol.
The link between obesity and high cholesterol is quite clear. Being extremely overweight makes you more likely to develop high cholesterol. Consequently, you are also more vulnerable to other diseases that are connected with high cholesterol such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Fat deposits may take a toll on your sexual performance if they are located in the arteries supplying blood to your penis. The blood needed for an erection may be obstructed, making it hard for you to have sex. Sometimes, erectile dysfunction can be a warning sign of high cholesterol in men. Scientists discovered that erectile dysfunction can predict vascular disease. Indeed, erectile dysfunction comes as early as 4 to 5 years before a heart attack.
According to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, kidney failure can be linked to high levels of cholesterol in the blood. In a study published in the Journal of the Society of American Nephrology, scientists uncover the confusion in interpreting the connection. A quick look seems to show that dialysis patients with higher cholesterol levels seem to live longer than those with lower cholesterol levels. However, the study came to a conclusion that high cholesterol readings weren’t necessarily a good sign. Researchers believe that high cholesterol only indicates that the person was less malnourished and had less inflammation than those who died. What matters is that doctors should be more careful when interpreting high blood cholesterol levels.
A recent study in Nephrology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Nephrology, established an association between Alzheimer’s disease and high cholesterol. Kyushu University researchers looked at the brains of almost 150 deceased people. A third of those people were diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The result shows that people with plagues on the brain (a characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease) had higher levels of cholesterol than those who did not. However, tangles, another trademark of Alzheimer’s, did not seem to have any connection with cholesterol levels. More research needs to be carried out to confirm the negative effects that high cholesterol has on brain function.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 19, 2017 | Last Modified: August 15, 2017
Health Conditions Linked to High Cholesterol Beyond Heart Disease. https://www.everydayhealth.com/high-cholesterol/symptoms/high-cholesterol-related-conditions/. Accessed August 8, 2017.
Diseases Linked to High Cholesterol. http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/guide/diseases-linked-high-cholesterol. Accessed August 8, 2017.
7 Diseases Linked to High Cholesterol. https://www.healthgrades.com/conditions/7-diseases-linked-to-high-cholesterol. Accessed August 8, 2017.