According to Penn Medicine, a person is considered at high risk for developing heart disease if their total cholesterol level is higher than 240 mg/dL, LDL levels are higher than 160 mg/dL, and if the HDL level is below 40 mg/dL.
With high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits grow and can make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. Sometimes, those deposits can break and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol can be inherited, but it’s often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as poor diet and lack of exercise.