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Cholesterol test kit, Austria, 2009

The amount of cholesterol in the blood is measured using this home diagnosis kit, bought from high street chemist Boots. Cholesterol is a lipid, a fatty substance created by the liver. A certain amount is vital for the body, but too much cholesterol builds up in the arteries and causes them to narrow. It restricts the amount of blood entering the heart, which can cause angina (chest pains) and, more seriously, heart attack. Home diagnosis kits such as this have recently caused concern because of the risk of misdiagnosis and a GP can accurately measure the level of cholesterol in the blood by a simple blood test. Two out of three adults in the UK have high cholesterol levels. This is one of the highest cholesterol levels in the world. High cholesterol can be avoided by following a healthy diet low in saturated fat.

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Glossary: cholesterol test kit

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Glossary: cholesterol

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