Physician Links Cardiovascular Diseases, Stroke To High Cholesterol

Dr Okezie Emenike, an Abuja-based Physician, on Thursday said high cholesterol could increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and str...

Dr Okezie Emenike, an Abuja-based Physician, on Thursday said high cholesterol could increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Emenike said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. According to him, high cholesterol in the blood could cause fatty deposits to build in the arteries making it narrower thereby restricting blood flow into the heart which leads to heart attack. Emenike said that high cholesterol could also lead to blood clot in the arteries that could block blood supply to the brain resulting to stroke. He explained that the body manufactured some level of cholesterol and gets the rest from food eaten while the genes determined how much the body would make on its own. Emenike, however, said that excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and eating food high in saturated fat like red meat, egg and dairy products increased the level of cholesterol in the body. He said that obesity and lack of exercise could contribute to the chances of having high cholesterol which could endanger life. According to the physician, risk of high cholesterol could be genetic; this genetic abnormality leads to the over production of cholesterol in the liver. Emenike further said that some medicines, such as oral contraceptive to reduce water level in the body, were also causative factors of high cholesterol. He explained that poor management of type 2 diabetes, kidney, liver diseases as well as underactive thyroid might also cause high cholesterol. The physician added that age and sex contributes to risk of high cholesterol, stressing that women above 50 often have high cholesterol than men of the same age. Emenike said that mental stress could also be responsible for the risk associated with high cholesterol. He urged persons susceptible to the condition to always seek medical attention due to its risk factor to other illnesses. “Adoption of healthier lifestyle, low fat diet and exercise reduce the chances of high cholesterol presence in the body. “Avoidance of smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol and being overweight helps in fighting high cholesterol. “Knowing the level of cholesterol in the body and treating the underlying condition helps in controlling high level cholesterol in the body. “Consumption of soluble fibre foods and avoidance of foods filled with saturated fat is the key,” the physician said. He said that treating high cholesterol was a lifelong challenge, regardless of method of treatment, routine blood test was required to monitor cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglyceride levels. Emenike advised that cholesterol control was useful in reducing heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease.
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