Why Your Heart Wants You to Pay Attention to Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol can be a tricky thing to understand, especially when you’re not exactly sure what your levels mean and how they can affect the various aspects of your body – including your heart.

So, what is cholesterol? What does it have to do with heart disease? Simply put, cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your blood. It is essential to certain cell functions in your body, such as digesting foods, producing hormones, converting vitamin D in the skin and creating new cells. Your liver makes cholesterol for your body, but you also get cholesterol from eating certain foods, such as meat, poultry and full-fat dairy. Cholesterol travels through the bloodstream in "packages" called lipoproteins. There are two kinds:

  • Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), also known as "bad" cholesterol, join with other substances to form a thick, hard deposit, called plaque on the walls of your arteries.
  • High-density lipoproteins (HDLs), also known as "good" cholesterol, remove cholesterol from the bloodstream and the artery walls.

If the total amount of cholesterol in your blood is too high, more plaque builds up over time, eventually limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart. This can cause coronary heart disease (CHD) to develop, which can lead to even more serious health issues, like blood clots, heart attack or a stroke.

Most of the time, you can control your cholesterol levels through a healthy diet and lifestyle, which will lower your risk of cardiovascular health issues. For a small percentage of people, however, high cholesterol is sometimes caused by genetically inherited cholesterol-related disorders that cannot be controlled with diet or other lifestyle changes. That’s why it’s so important to know your numbers and monitor them on an ongoing basis.

Talk to your doctor about what HDL and LDL levels are healthy, and what can be done to lower risks. Routine blood tests can show your cholesterol levels . To learn about what other factors may be affecting your risk for cardiovascular disease, take our free heart health assessment.

Start My Assessment!
Mobile Header

Why Choose Us?

When you put your heart in our hands, you get the benefit of more than 30 years of experience in cardiac care, the commitment that brought the first open heart surgery to our communities, and skills that can stop a heart attack in progress.

The heart care teams at ShorePoint Health are with you every step of the way, from preventive screenings and lifestyle support, through minimally invasive treatments and life-saving emergency care.

Our Services

  • Interventional Cardiology: We offer a variety of catheter-assisted techniques to treat heart disease, including cardiac catheterization, atherectomy (rotoblater), balloon angioplasty and stenting.

  • Open Heart Surgery: When open heart surgery becomes the best treatment solution, our team performs advanced procedures such as coronary artery bypass surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), congenital heart disease repair and valve repair and replacement.

  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR): ShorePoint Health Venice performed our first TAVR procedure December, 2018. ShorePoint Health Port Charlotte performed the first TAVR procedure in Charlotte County on Friday, July 12, 2019.

  • Heart Rhythm Disorders: We provide arrhythmia treatment from lifestyle-modification assistance to complex surgical treatment, including ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF), implantable devices including cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) and pacemakers, and radiofrequency ablation. For patients with atrial fibrillation who are unable to continue long term anticoagulation therapy we offer left atrial appendage closure. We performed our first procedure in 2018.

ShorePoint Health Port Charlotte

Located on the campus of ShorePoint Health Port Charlotte, Southwest Florida Heart Center is Charlotte County's largest heart center and the only accredited Chest Pain Center with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) from the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Features:

  • Private patient rooms
  • 10‐bed cardiac intensive care unit
  • 9-bed cardiac-vascular surgery unit
  • 16-bed post-interventional cardiac unit
  • 8-bed pre/post-interventional cardiac holding unit
  • Two open heart surgery suites
  • Four cath labs including a designated electrophysiology lab
  • Charlotte County's only hybrid operating room, a space which integrates a surgical operating room and an X-ray imaging system to enable clinicians to work more efficiently by reducing preparation and procedure time.

ShorePoint Health Venice

ShorePoint Health Venice has received a certification of Distinction for Chest Pain by The Joint Commission, 2021, a highly valued certification that combines a review of Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) and Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS).

Features:

  • Private rooms for cardiovascular patients
  • 8‐bed cardiac intensive care unit
  • 9-bed pre/post-interventional cardiac holding unit
  • 2 open heart surgery suites
  • 3 cath labs including a designated electrophysiology lab

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking special precautions to keep our offices and other care environments safe for every patient.

Heart Healthy Resources

Heart Healthy Roadmap

A Woman’s Risk for Heart Disease is Different: Here’s What You Need to Know

Heart disease is a big issue in the United States for both men and women alike. But some risk factors are more unique to women.
Read more »

What Do Doctors Have To Say About Your Heart?

Is High Blood Pressure Considered Heart Disease?

Finding out you have high blood pressure can be worrisome if you aren’t sure what your numbers mean or what to do about them. Discover how high blood pressure affects your heart.
Read more »

Healthy Connections

How Does Smoking Affect Your Heart?

Smoking’s impact reaches far beyond your lungs, harming nearly every other organ in the body. Get the specifics on how smoking can influence your heart’s health.
Read more »

Journey to a Healthy Heart

Why Your Heart Wants You to Pay Attention to Your Cholesterol

Your liver makes cholesterol in your body, but you also get cholesterol from eating certain foods. Find out how the wrong kind of cholesterol can impact your heart.
Read more »

Start My Assessment
test