According to Cleveland Clinic, most people don’t experience clear-cut symptoms when their cholesterol levels increase beyond normal. However, plaque (consisting of fats and cholesterol) can build up with time, leading to potential medical emergencies.
WebMD states that a heart attack is one such medical emergency that can happen. When plaque builds up in the walls, it narrows the arteries and limits blood flow to the heart. The less blood flow to the heart, the higher your chances of a heart attack.
Per Healthline, too much cholesterol building up in the arteries can also make you susceptible to an ischemic stroke, which the American Heart Association describes as the cutting off of blood supply to the brain. The CDC also notes that nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year, and about 87% of these are ischemic strokes. Symptoms of ischemic stroke include numbness, blurred vision, unexplained headaches, and difficulty walking and speaking.