SPENCER B. KING, III, MD: The consequences are that heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, blocked arteries in the legs and so forth, can occur. Cholesterol has multiple components. Some parts of cholesterol are more dangerous than others. Some parts of the cholesterol, the HDL, the high-density lipoprotein, is actually somewhat protective, and parts of that are even more protective.
On the other hand, the low-density lipoproteins are the ones that we really worry about. And when we talk about high cholesterol, we're really more worried about the high level of the LDL, the low-density lipoprotein. That is the one that is most dangerous for the progression of artery disease.