My cholesterol is high but no one in my family has heart disease. Does this mean that I don't need to worry about my cholesterol?

Not everyone with high cholesterol is destined to develop early coronary heart disease. First, a breakdown into the LDL ("bad") and HDL ("good") cholesterol should always be done. Some people with high cholesterol have normal LDL but high HDL (which is a good situation to be in!). Second, there may be other inherited factors which help to offset the effects of high LDL cholesterol. Third, some people are just lucky and defy the odds.

In any case, the lack of a family history, though a good sign, does not make anyone immune to the effects of high cholesterol. Watching your diet, exercising regularly and taking an aspirin a day would make sense as ways of decreasing risk. Whether medication is advisable would depend on your cholesterol level, your age, and the presence of other risk factors.