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Lt Col Phillips
An obese or overweight person increases their risk of having unhealthy levels of blood fats, called dyslipidemia. This can include abnormally high triglycerides and LDL — or bad — cholesterol, and low levels of HDL — or good — cholesterol. Dr. Bethea, can you tell us more about dyslipidemia?

Dr. Bethea
Well, unhealthy cholesterol levels can create an increased risk for coronary artery disease because when bad cholesterol reaches abnormally high levels, it can begin building up in the blood vessels, causing the vessels to narrow. When this happens, the oxygen in the blood has a difficult time getting to the organs that need it.

The heart must then work harder and harder to pump blood through the arteries. Just like any muscle, if the heart is forced to work harder, it can become enlarged, making it more difficult to supply the body with the blood that it needs. This can lead to a variety of heart conditions.

Dyslipidemia is a serious consequence of obesity that can ultimately lead to life-threatening conditions, so it’s important to work toward healthy cholesterol levels throughout life.