Cholesterol, a type of fat found in our body cell is made by the liver or from our food.
We just need a little amount of cholesterol to help the brain and other organs grow and work properly. Too much cholesterol in the blood can block the blood vessels and over the years. High cholesterol is known as the cause for heart attack and stroke.
Everyone can have too much cholesterol in their blood, kids and adults, men and women.
High cholesterol for kids is more likely inherited genetically.
As cholesterol is usually a buildup factors by years, therefore cholesterol level is normally raised by years. High cholesterol becomes more common as we age.
Women in general are less at risk of suffering from high cholesterol at an early age than men because of the estrogen.
Estrogen, a group of primary female sex hormones tend to raise “good” HDL (High Cholesterol Lipoproteins) cholesterol. HDL can transport “bad” LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins) cholesterol back to the liver for disposal and lowering the total overall cholesterol.
Women’s cholesterol levels change according to the monthly cycle, corresponding to the estrogen levels. The estrogen levels keep increasing while the egg cell matures, so the cholesterol level also increase before ovulation and decline back when the eggs aren’t fertili
Estrogen also affects almost every organs, including the heart and blood vessels. It stimulates the release of nitric oxide and decreases the contraction of smooth muscle cells.
It’s a unique condition that having high cholesterol level is safe for pregnant women till breast feeding period. The placenta of the baby produces more estrogen and give more protective agents on the vasculature of the body against diseases then the baby needs them through the milk from the mother.
When women go through menopause, the protection of estrogen disappears. Estrogen is the reason why women suffer from heart problems 10 years later than men, but after menopause, the risk is equal to that of men.
High cholesterol in middle aged women are less risky in causing a heart attack compare to high cholesterol in middle aged men. Because even though men has some estrogen in the body, it’s at lower level than in women.
High cholesterol is a silent killer. Most people with high cholesterol don’t suffer any symptoms, which is why it is very important to check our cholesterol level regularly.