Hyperlipidemia: Causes & Symptoms

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Hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol, is a broad term that refers to any of several acquired or genetic disorders that result in high levels of fat proteins in the blood.

What is Hyperlipidemia?

As the name implies, hyperlipidemia is a condition in which the lipids and lipoproteins in the body are at unusually high levels, which can cause a wide range of related health complications, most commonly with the cardiovascular system.

There are two main types of hyperlipidemia:

  • Genetic
  • Behavioral (typically occurring in conjunction with diabetes)



Any of the following causes can all lead to hyperlipidemia:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Inactive lifestyle


It is important to note that high blood lipid levels alone may not always show any specific symptoms. Others may show some of the following symptoms of hyperlipidemia:

  • Pancreatitis (a painful swelling of the pancreas)
  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Plaque on the walls of the arteries and blood vessels
  • Pain during walking and gangrene

In genetic or inherited hyperlipidemia, there may be yellow-colored fatty growths around the eyes or the joints.

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