Your total blood cholesterol is a measure of the cholesterol components LDL (low density-lipoprotein) cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein, which is the triglyceride-carrying component of lipids). Total cholesterol values cannot be interpreted in the absence of the cholesterol components listed below.
LDL (low density-lipoprotein) cholesterol is also called “bad” cholesterol. LDL can build up on the walls of your arteries and increase your chances of getting heart disease. If you do not have heart or blood vessel disease and are not at high risk for developing heart disease, the following guidelines apply.
Your LDL cholesterol number is:
The treatment goal for individuals with heart disease or blood vessel disease is to reach an LDL of less than 1.8 mmol/L (70 mg/dL). The treatment goal for high-risk individuals (those with diabetes or other multiple risk factors for heart disease) is to reach an LDL of less than 2.6 mmol/L (100 mg/dL).
HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is also called “good” cholesterol. HDL protects against heart disease by taking the bad cholesterol out of your blood and keeping it from building up in your arteries. Your HDL cholesterol number is:
Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food and the body. Triglycerides are mostly carried in VLDL and chylomicrons. VLDL comes from the liver and also has cholesterol. Chylomicrons come from dietary fat.
Along with cholesterol, triglycerides form plasma lipids. Excess triglycerides in plasma have been linked to the occurrence of coronary artery disease in some people. Like cholesterol, increases in triglyceride levels can be detected by plasma measurements. These measurements should be made after an overnight food and alcohol fast. Your triglyceride numbers are:
Everyone over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol levels measured at least once every five years. The test that is performed is a blood test called a lipoprotein profile. That includes:
LDL level is calculated from the above 3 values.
A variety of factors can affect your cholesterol levels. They include:
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