The number one cause of death in the country is heart disease, a condition associated with multiple health risks that stem from a process called atherosclerosis, which is the slow buildup of plaque in the arteries. When these blockages occur, blood no longer flows freely through the arteries, making it easy for blood clots to form. These clots can lead to conditions related to cardiovascular disease, such as heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular disease.

Many factors can cause plaque to develop, with a high level of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, being one of the main causes. The medical community colloquially refers to LDL as “bad” cholesterol, a phrase most adults in America are familiar with hearing. In fact, one in every three adults in the United States has been diagnosed with high levels of LDL, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting 71 million Americans, or roughly 33.5 percent of the population, have been diagnosed with having high levels of “bad” cholesterol.

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