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hypercholesterolaemia Abnormally high concentrations of cholesterol in the blood. Generally considered to be a sign of high risk for atherosclerosis and ischaemic heart disease. Treatment is by restriction of fat (especially saturated fat) and cholesterol intake and a high intake of non‐starch polysaccharides, which increase the excretion of cholesterol and its metabolites (the bile salts) in the faeces. Drugs (statins, HMG CoA reductase inhibitors) may be given to inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the body, and in severe cases, ion‐exchange resins may be fed, to increase the excretion of bile salts.

Familial hypercholesterolaemia is a genetic disease in which affected individuals have extremely high blood concentrations of cholesterol, frequently dying from ischaemic heart disease in early adulthood; treatment is as for other forms of hypercholesterolaemia, but more rigorous. See also lipids, plasma.

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hypercholesterolaemia (hy-per-kŏl-est-er-ol-ee-miă) n. see cholesterol.

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