High blood cholesterol is a risk factor of stroke because it can contribute to atherosclerosis, which is a build up of plaque in the walls of the blood vessels. This build up of plaque reduces the passageway in which blood travels through. It may also break off and travel to a vessel in the brain causing a restriction of blood reaching the brain.
The two types of cholesterol are Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and High-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is often called the bad cholesterol (think L for lousy) because it encourages the build up of plaque in the walls of arteries. HDL, on the other hand, is known as the good cholesterol (H for healthy) because it helps remove LDL from the walls of blood vessels.
It is important to get your blood cholesterol checked regularly. Some of the ways to maintain blood cholesterol in a good range include fat reduction in diet, choosing unsaturated fat over saturated fat and limiting the use of trans fat. Smoking cessation and exercise are also effective as well. Medications can also be prescribed by your medical doctor in conjunction to lifestyle modification.
For more information on high blood cholesterol, please visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario here.
Reference: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario