What is Hyperlipidemia?

Hyperlipidemia is a medical term for abnormally high levels of fats (lipids) in the blood, which include cholesterol and triglycerides.  Although hyperlipidemia can be inherited, it’s most often the result of lifestyle factors, including an unbalanced diet and too little physical activity.  The most common type of hyperlipidemia is high cholesterol. Other forms of hyperlipidemia include hypertriglyceridemia and mixed hyperlipidemia, in which both cholesterol and triglyceride levels are high.

Common Symptoms

Hyperlipidemia usually does not show symptoms until it has advanced to the state where people have emergency complications, such as a heart attack or stroke. These can occur when high cholesterol has led to plaque buildup in your arteries that limits or blocks the flow of blood.

A simple blood test will let you and your doctor know your blood cholesterol levels.


Lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment for hyperlipidemia. If these are insufficient, your doctor may prescribe medications to help manage your high cholesterol.