High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for coronary heart disease, and the risk increases as blood cholesterol levels rise. Other major risk factors are cigarette smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes. Your cholesterol level is determined both by your genetic makeup and the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the foods you eat. The liver also manufactures cholesterol, so even if you never eat cholesterol, your body makes enough for its needs. But if you’re an adult with high blood cholesterol, for every 1 percent reduction in total cholesterol levels, you reduce your chance of a heart attack by 2 percent. In other words, if your reduce your cholesterol level 15 percent, your risk of coronary heart disease could drop by 30 percent.
(Source: Harvard’s Intelihealth website)