High cholesterol, also known as hypercholesterolemia, means there is an excess of lipids or fats in the blood. Your liver makes cholesterol to help digest foods and make hormones. You also consume cholesterol in certain foods, but your liver makes all that your body needs to function properly, making the cholesterol you eat excess.
Too much cholesterol can create blockages in the arteries. When it is more difficult for blood to flow through the body, the risk of stroke or heart attack increases. The plaque buildup itself can also be irritated, which will cause a clot to form around it.