Are High Cholesterol Levels Dangerous
A high cholesterol level can be a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. These devastating events happen when a cholesterol plaque ruptures. This causes blood to suddenly clot and block an artery in the heart or brain.
Blockages that prevent sufficient blood flow in the coronary arteries can lead to a form of chest pain called angina. Angina is a common symptom of coronary artery disease. Symptoms usually occur with exertion and go away with rest.
The American Heart Association Recommends
All adults age 20 or older should have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. If certain factors put you at high risk, or if you already have heart disease, your doctor may ask you to check it more often. Work with your doctor to determine your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke and create a plan to reduce your risk.
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Cholesterol Ratio Or Non
For predicting your risk of heart disease, many doctors now believe that determining your non-HDL cholesterol level may be more useful than calculating your cholesterol ratio. And either option appears to be a better risk predictor than your total cholesterol level or even your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level.
Non-HDL cholesterol, as its name implies, simply subtracts your high-density lipoprotein cholesterol number from your total cholesterol number. So it contains all the bad types of cholesterol.
An optimal level of non-HDL cholesterol is less than 130 milligrams per deciliter , or 3.37 millimoles per liter . Higher numbers mean a higher risk of heart disease.
To calculate your cholesterol ratio, divide your total cholesterol number by your HDL cholesterol number. So if your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL and your HDL is 50 mg/dL , your ratio would be 4-to-1. Higher ratios mean a higher risk of heart disease.
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How Do You Prepare For A Cholesterol Test
In most cases, youll need to fast for nine to 12 hours before the test. Make sure you tell the person drawing your blood how long it has been since you ate or drank anything that wasnt water.
There are some cases when a cholesterol test is done without fasting. This is true for tests done at health screenings and may be true for people younger than 20 or for people who are unable to fast.
Some medical societies believe that fasting is not necessary to get a true picture of lipid levels in the blood, while other associations stand by the belief that fasting gives a better idea of a persons heart disease risk. You should be clear on whether or not you need to fast, and for how long, before you go for the blood test.
What Do Your Cholesterol Results Mean
When you have a cholesterol test, it is really important that your healthcare professional explains the results to you to prevent unnecessary worry and confusion.
Its not just your total cholesterol thats important and your results will include different types of cholesterol. If you are only given your total cholesterol, ask for a break-down of the other numbers. Its possible to have a healthy total cholesterol number but an unhealthy balance of the different types of cholesterol.
As a minimum, you should be given your total cholesterol and HDL numbers, then you can work out your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol .
You might also have your triglycerides tested, these are another type of blood fat which are linked to heart disease.
Ask for a print out of your results if you are not able to speak to your GP, nurse or pharmacist.
Your results should include:
- Total cholesterol
This is sometimes written as serum cholesterol or TC and refers to your overall level of cholesterol.
- Non-HDL cholesterol
- HDL cholesterol
- TC:HDL ratio
You might be given a TC:HDL ratio, which is the ratio of HDL compared to the total cholesterol. If not, you can work it out from your HDL and total cholesterol numbers. This should be as low as possible. Above 6 is considered high.
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Remember that HDL is produced by the body. Like all lipoproteins carry cholesterol, HDL is produced by the body and it is not present in the food. The amount of HDL produced is determined by the gene and is related to the need for cell regeneration, but the levels of all lipoproteins depend on diet and exercise. On the other hand, cholesterol is present in foods and is also produced by the liver and the intestinal wall. The liver removes cholesterol from the body by secreting cholesterol out of the bile . This process of cholesterol regulation affects the levels of lipoprotein, including HDL levels.
HDL works in tandem with LDL. LDL is called bad cholesterol, but in fact it is just a cholesterol transporter from the liver to the cell, including the damaged arteries. The problem arises when cholesterol builds up in the artery wall, it attracts macrophages and stimulates plaque formation a typical sign of atherosclerosis or blocked artery.HDL works in tandem with LDL and tries to balance the amount of cholesterol needed to regenerate cracks in the artery instead of limiting accumulation. In physiological terms, nothing is called good or bad cholesterol, although some types of lipoproteins are considered healthier than others.
What Are Common Causes Of High Cholesterol?
What Are Common Symptoms Of High Cholesterol?
How Can You Lower Your Non
You get all the cholesterol you need from your liver. You also get some from foods like meat, poultry, dairy products, and saturated oils used in baked goods. These foods also prompt your liver to make more cholesterol.
To reduce your overall cholesterol levels, limit your intake of saturated fats. That means going light on fatty meat and full-fat dairy products.
Its also important to avoid trans fats, which you may find listed as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in:
- baked goods like store-bought cookies, cakes, pastries, and frozen pies
- snack foods like crackers, microwaveable popcorn, frozen pizza crusts, and meat pies
- fried fast foods like fried chicken, french fries, fried noodles, and battered fish
- vegetable shortening which is often used in baked goods as a cheap alternative to butter
- stick margarine which is made from hydrogenated vegetable oils
- non-dairy coffee creamers used as a substitute for milk and cream in coffee, tea, and other hot beverages
Instead of eating processed foods, try to focus on eating more whole foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and healthy sources of protein, like fish, skinless chicken, and lean red meat.
Some foods that may help improve LDL cholesterol include:
- oatmeal and oat bran
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Total Cholesterol To Hdl Ratio
The total cholesterol to HDL ratio calculator is used to determine their proportion in the blood. The total cholesterol/HDL ratio is considered to be the least precise in determining your health risk. So, what should your cholesterol ratio be?
- The optimum ratio is below 3.5.
- An average total cholesterol/HDL ratio is considered below 5.0.
- And an elevated ratio is above 5.0.
What Is A Normal Range For Non
The higher your non-HDL cholesterol, the higher your risk of heart disease.
A study published in 2018 involved more than 36,000 people with a low 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease. A long-term follow-up found LDL and non-HDL readings of more than 160 mg/dL were each linked with a 50 to 80 percent increased relative risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.
For other cholesterol readings, the following guidelines apply if you dont have heart or blood vessel disease.
Your LDL cholesterol reading is:
- optimal if less than 100 mg/dL
- above optimal/borderline high if between 100 and 129 mg/dL
- mildly high if 130 to 159 mg/dL
- high at 160 to 189 mg/dL
- very high at 190 mg/dL or above
Your HDL cholesterol reading is:
- optimal if its 60 mg/dL or above
- low if its 40 mg/dL or lower
Your triglyceride reading is:
- optimal if less than 100 mg/dL
- borderline high at 100 to 149 mg/dL
- high if 150 to 499 mg/dL
- very high if higher than 500 mg/dL
Your doctor may have different goals for you if youre at high risk of heart disease or have already had heart disease.
- have kidney disease
Studies are beginning to highlight the importance of non-HDL in assessing cardiovascular risk.
For example, in a 2016 study, researchers looked at data from nine clinical trials involving people with coronary disease. They found that achieved non-HDL cholesterol was more strongly associated with disease progression than LDL.
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What Is A Healthy Level Of Hdl
According to National Institutes of Health guidelines, HDL levels less than 40 mg/dL put people at risk for heart disease. Aim for 4059 mg/dL, but above 60 is ideal.
Theres no upper limit for HDL, but one study found that people with extremely high or extremely low HDL levels were at a higher risk of death than those with moderate levels. That study identified the optimal levels as 73 mg/dL in men and 93 mg/dL in women.
Heres How To Raise Your Good Hdl Cholesterol Level
When two-time Grammy winner Anderson .Paak sang Make It BetterI just wanna make you feel good now/Do you want to make it better? he was hoping to improve a deteriorating relationship and mend a breaking heart. You might want to do the same by making your levels of good HDL cholesterol better so you can mend your heart and liver and have a better relationship with your body.
When two-time Grammy winner Anderson .Paak sang Make It Better I just wanna make you feel good now/Do you want to make it better? he was hoping to improve a deteriorating relationship and mend a breaking heart. You might want to do the same by making your levels of good HDL cholesterol better so you can mend your heart and liver and have a better relationship with your body.
The newest research reveals that having an HDL level of 55mg/dL or higher helps your gut biome block common inflammatory signals so they dont damage the liver. For the 25% of American adults with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, elevating HDL levels can help prevent serious complications such as cirrhosis.
We also know that HDL serves as a chemical shuttle, moving heart-damaging LDL cholesterol from peripheral tissues to the liver so it can be excreted. That helps protect you from atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.
So how do you tamp down inflammation and elevate your healthful HDL levels?
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Drop Excess Pounds To Increase Hdl Cholesterol
If youre overweight or obese, shedding those excess pounds can help to raise HDL cholesterol. Leah Groppo, RD, CDE, clinical dietitian at Stanford Health Care in Stanford, California, says that losing around 7 percent of your total body weight is enough to cause a metabolic shift.But as Groppo notes, Maintaining weight loss is key.
Abdominal obesity fat that accumulates around your waist rather than in the hips and thighs seems to be associated with heart disease risk and lower levels of the good cholesterol. Weight loss is especially helpful for people who have an apple-shaped body.
Effective weight-loss methods include diet, exercise, and surgery. A study published in January 2014 in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases found that 318 participants who received laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding showed a significant increase in their HDL cholesterol long-term, 12 years later.
Stop Smoking To Optimize Hdl Cholesterol
Smoking cigarettes can lead to a number of health problems, including lung disease and cancer, and also increases your risk of heart attack. But did you know smoking can also suppress or lower those good cholesterol levels?
Smoking can reduce HDL cholesterol in many ways, including by inhibiting HDL synthesis in the first place, blocking its maturation, and speeding up its clearance and metabolism, Dr. Ahmed says. Quitting smoking can help your HDL synthesis and metabolism to go back to their natural levels so that the HDL can do its job better again.
And research agrees. A study published in September 2013 in the journal Biomarker Research found that ex-smokers had higher HDL cholesterol than smokers, noting: We conclude that quitting smoking increases HDL cholesterol, and that this increase occurs rapidly after quitting, with no clear pattern of change thereafter.
If youre trying to quit smoking, talk to your doctor about the many methods to help you through the process.
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How Can You Lower Your Cholesterol
These are the rules to help you manage your cholesterol.
Regular aerobic exercise is a good idea. Studies have shown that exercising regularly increases HDL cholesterol while decreasing LDL cholesterol . It may lower your chances of having a heart attack or stroke by lowering the blood pressure.
Diet. Consume foods that are low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and fatty acids. Fish is a good source of omega-3 fat acids, so make sure to include them in your diet. You might consider eating cholesterol-lowering foods like margarine, which is enriched with plant steroids and stanols.
Take medications. Dont hesitate to consult your doctor if the non-pharmacological methods of treatment fail to produce satisfactory results. You can lower your bad cholesterol levels and improve your LDL HDL ratio with a variety of drugs. They not only lower cholesterol, but also reduce cardiovascular risk . and extend life .
Do not be afraid to make positive changes in your daily life. Use our cholesterol calculator to calculate your LDL HDL and other ratios. Reduce your cholesterol, treat hypertension, diabetes, and check for abnormalities within your ECG. Protect your heart, live longer, healthier, and happier.
Normal: < 120 And< 80 Mmhg
When your heart beats, it pumps blood through blood vessels called arteries and creates pressure in them. The higher number represents the pressure while your heart is beating. The lower number represents the pressure when your heart is resting between beats. Your blood pressure can change from minute to minute when you change your position or during physical activities, or when you are stressed or sleeping. High blood pressure can damage the walls of your arteries. If your first reading is high, your doctor may take several more readings before deciding whether your blood pressure may be a health concern.
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How Is An Hdl Cholesterol Test Different From A Total Cholesterol Test
A total cholesterol test measures the sum of all cholesterol found in different kinds of lipoproteins. The total cholesterol number includes HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol.
Because these kinds of cholesterol have distinct implications for cardiovascular health, tests of total cholesterol often measure HDL cholesterol as well so that more information is provided about the ratio of HDL to non-HDL cholesterol in the blood.
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Cholesterol And Its Consequences
Without cholesterol, the life of humans and animals would not be possible. It is an essential structural component of cell membranes, and is needed in the process of production of steroid hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D. Moreover, you should notice that in certain clinical situations there are too low levels of cholesterol, but it is not very often. This is so-called hypocholesterolemia. It is usually caused by hyperthyroidism , adrenal insufficiency, liver diseases, depression, cerebral hemorrhage, or cancer. In sporadic cases it is caused by SLOS a genetic abnormality in the process of synthesis of cholesterol.
On the other hand, high levels of cholesterol, so-called hypercholesterolemia lead to substantial health problems. The most important consequence of high cholesterol is atherosclerosis. It is a disease in which the inside of an artery narrows due to the accumulation of plaque. At first patients usually dont have any symptoms, but eventually it causes:
- coronary artery disease
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How Do Good And Bad Cholesterol Affect The Body
High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is the good cholesterol. The benefit of HDL lies in the fact that it carries bad cholesterol back to the liver. In doing so, it cleanses cholesterol from the bloodstream.
Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, is the bad cholesterol. The higher the level of LDL cholesterol, the greater your risk of a heart attack. When the level of LDL cholesterol goes up, excess cholesterol can build up and stick to the walls of your arteries. This causes damage. The buildup is called plaque, and the formation of plaque can cause arteries to harden and narrow. This hardening is called atherosclerosis. Its also known as hardening of the arteries. If a plaque becomes unstable, a blood clot can form, suddenly blocking an artery. This causes a heart attack or stroke.
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Predicting The Magnitude Of The Preventive Effect
The total/HDL cholesterol and LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios are also good predictors of the degree of clinical benefit to be derived from lipid-lowering intervention. In the LRC-CPPT with cholestyramine, the drops in the total/HDL cholesterol ratio in the active treatment group were associated with clinical benefit. In the Helsinki study, multivariate analysis of the relationship between the lipid changes induced by gemfibrozil and the incidence of cardiovascular events in the treated group showed better predictive value for changes in HDL cholesterol and the total/HDL cholesterol ratio. In the placebo group of the AFCAPS/TexCAPS study, baseline LDL cholesterol had no predictive value for the incidence of coronary events, whereas predictive value was found in HDL cholesterol and the total/HDL cholesterol and LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios, both with greater significance than HDL cholesterol by adjusted logistic regression in the active treatment group, only changes in apoB and the apoB/apoA-I ratio, which is largely equivalent to the LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio, predicted risk reduction. The total/HDL cholesterol ratio also had more predictive value than other lipid parameters in the control group of the 4S study treatment-induced changes in this ratio were the best risk predictors in the group receiving simvastatin, with an estimated 17.6% risk difference for every one-unit reduction in the ratio.
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