Home Health Three red flag signs of silent killer condition affecting 60 percent of...

Three red flag signs of silent killer condition affecting 60 percent of Brits


Having high cholesterol means you have too much of a fatty substance known as cholesterol in your blood. If left untreated this can become dangerous as it can raise your risk of medical emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes.

This is because the cholesterol can form into plaque deposits, causing the arteries to narrow and making it harder for blood to flow through. The plaque can also break away, forming a dangerous blood clot.

According to the NHS, around 60 percent of adults in England are affected by high cholesterol, putting them at risk for the associated health problems.

It is also thought to contribute to around seven percent of all deaths every year. Despite its prevalence, many people with high cholesterol will be unaware of their condition due to the fact it usually does not show symptoms – earning it the title of a “silent killer”.

The only way to know for sure is to get tested. However, on occasion it can cause certain side effects.

Experts at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) warn of three such side effects, appearing on the hands, and in and around the eyes.

The charity notes that in most cases of high cholesterol, there are no symptoms.

It says: “There are usually no symptoms of high cholesterol. It’s often a hidden risk factor which means it can happen without us knowing until it’s too late.”

It added: “That is why it’s so important to get your cholesterol level checked.”

However, if you have familial hypercholesterolaemia, you “may have visible signs” of high cholesterol, the BHF says.

The medical names for these signs are tendon xanthomata, xanthelasmas and corneal arcus.

Tendon xanthomata

These are swellings made from cholesterol on the knuckles of your hands, your knees or the Achilles tendon at the back of your ankle. According to DermNet, these are “slow forming”, smooth and firm. The colour of your skin will appear normal.

Xanthelasmas

Xanthelasmas are small, yellow lumps of cholesterol near the inner corner of your eye.

While the growths themselves are harmless they could also signal diabetes and thyroid issues, as well as high cholesterol.

Corneal arcus

This is a pale white or grey ring around the coloured part of your eye, your iris.

It can just be a sign of ageing but if you’re under 60 and notice this it is likely caused by an underlying issue.

If you spot any signs of high cholesterol or are concerned about your cholesterol levels you should speak to your doctor.

Lifestyle changes you can make to lower your cholesterol include:

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