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What can cause an increase in cholesterol?

Dr Louisa Draper

"It’s natural for your cholesterol levels to increase slightly as you get older. However, if your cholesterol gets too high, it is important that you get treated to prevent complications."

Dr Louisa Draper

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There are many factors that can contribute to high cholesterol. Some of them are lifestyle related, which is why doctors often suggest lifestyle changes as a first response to a high cholesterol reading. Other factors can be due to your genetics or other medical conditions.

Some of the ways your lifestyle can increase your cholesterol levels or alter the ratio of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol to ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol include:

  • a diet that’s high in saturated fats
  • being inactive
  • being overweight/obese
  • having a large waist circumference
  • smoking