Glossary of Cholesterol Terms

Medically Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on August 24, 2020

Angina: Chest pains caused by a lack of oxygen supplied to the heart muscle.

Atherosclerosis: Clogging of the arteries with cholesterol plaque.

Cholesterol: A waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body and is found in many types of food.

HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol: Good cholesterol; HDL takes the bad cholesterol out of your blood and keeps it from building up in your arteries.

Hypercholesterolemia: Presence of high cholesterol in the blood.

Hypertension:High blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. High blood pressure is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood to the body and it is linked to damaging the walls of the arteries.

LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol: Bad cholesterol; LDL can build up on the walls of your arteries and increase your chances of getting heart disease.

Lipoprotein profile: A test that measures cholesterol levels and types.

Peripheral vascular disease: Refers to diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and brain.

Plaque: A thick material that builds up on the walls of the arteries making blood flow to the heart difficult.

Stroke: Condition that occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts.

Triglycerides: The chemical form in which most fat exists in food and the body.