Below the age of thirty, a high cholesterol won’t usually increase your risk of having a heart attack (in the next five years) very much.
But cholesterol has an additive effect over time. Better to start exercising and eating less saturated fats now. Eat a mediterranean diet including fish twice per week. Better yet, stop smoking.
In patients with known heart disease, lowering cholesterol has been shown to prevent death – the 4S trial showed treating 150 patients with a history of angina or heart attack with Zocor for one year prevented one coronary death. The AFCAPS trial showed treating middle aged people with high lipids and no known CAD reduced events – treating 250 people with Lipitor for one year prevented one event. Data on benefits for women and young people remains sketchy, but it has been proposed the risks of cholesterol medications outweighs the benefit before the age of 40.
You do not have a high cholesterol. It needs to be treated only if you have a strong family history of strokes and heart attacks before 60, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity or smoke.