Cholesterol is a waxy substance necessary for all living tissue. The
body manufactures most of the cholesterol it needs. Additional cholesterol is
taken in from certain foods we eat.
Too much cholesterol in the blood is not healthy, because it can build
up in the walls of arteries, causing the blood vessels to narrow
(atherosclerosis). Narrowed blood vessels carry less blood and may increase a
person's risk for a stroke or
Lowering cholesterol levels in the blood makes good sense, especially
for people who are at risk for a
transient ischemic attack (TIA) or
stroke. Diet changes and, if needed, drugs can be
used to keep blood cholesterol at an acceptable level.
Treatment with cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins can slow the
development of atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries for some people and may
reduce the chance of having a TIA or stroke, especially for people who have a
coronary artery disease. For more information, see the
topic High Cholesterol.
If you have already had a TIA or a stroke, your doctor will likely recommend a statin to help prevent another stroke.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.