Importance Of Lowering Ldl
LDL particles — sometimes called “bad” cholesterol — are responsible for transporting cholesterol through your bloodstream to the parts of your body that need the fatty compound to synthesize hormones, vitamin D, digestive enzymes and cellular membranes. Your HDL, or “good” cholesterol, particles transport excess cholesterol molecules to your liver where they can be eliminated from your body. If your LDL level is too high, the HDL particles cannot remove enough and the cholesterol builds up on your artery walls. This makes the arteries narrower and stiffer, leading to cardiovascular conditions.
Cholesterol And Triglyceride Screening
Some health organizations recommend that everyone older than age 20 be checked for high cholesterol.
Some health organizations recommend that everyone age 20 and older be checked for high cholesterol.footnote 1 The Canadian Cardiovascular Society recommends cholesterol tests based on age and risk factors for heart disease. footnote 2
Talk to your doctor about when you should get a cholesterol test.
Risks Of Untreated High Cholesterol
High cholesterol often has no signs and symptoms but can have devastating health consequences. When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it builds up in the arteries and can harden. This buildup of plaque narrows the arteries and reduces and slows the blood flow to the heart. If the blood supply to any part of the heart is totally blocked, a heart attack occurs.
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What Is The Ldl Cholesterol Blood Test For
Cholesterol blood test is used as a cardiovascular risk factor. If LDL cholesterol is high the risk of suffering a cardiovascular disease increases.
LDL cholesterol blood test is performed along with other lipid tests, including the measurement of total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides.
Actually, LDL cholesterol is not measured in a blood test. It is estimated with the next formulas:
- Friedewald formula:
- LDL = Total Cholesterol – HDL
- Iranian formula:
- LDL = + 38
LDL cholesterol is also called the Bad cholesterol because an excessive LDL cholesterol in the blood is a key contributor to atherosclerosis . Those plaques may harden and narrow the arteries, blocking the bloodstream. The cholesterol can accumulate and set the stage for a heart attack or a stroke.
The risk of suffering a cardiovascular disease increases if there are other cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity or smoking.
A low level of LDL cholesterol in the blood is positive in general terms. The main reason is an excess of anti-cholesterol drugs. It some cases it can be due to genetic diseases that prevents the cholesterol formation but it is not common.
Lifestyle Tips To Cut Cholesterol
Changing some of your lifestyle habits may also help to reduce your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Suggestions include:
- Cease alcohol consumption or reduce your alcohol intake to no more than one or two drinks a day. Avoid binge drinking. This may help lower your triglyceride levels.
- Dont smoke. Smoking increases the ability of LDL cholesterol to get into artery cells and cause damage.
- Exercise regularly . Exercise increases HDL levels while reducing LDL and triglyceride levels in the body.
- Lose any excess body fat. Being overweight may contribute to raised blood triglyceride and LDL levels.
- Control your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. High blood sugars are linked to an increased risk of atherosclerosis , heart attacks and strokes.
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Below Are The Ldl Cholesterol Ranges:
- Optimal: If LDL is less than 100.
- Near-optimal or above optimal: If it is between100-129.
- Borderline high: If it is between130-159.
- High: If it is between160-189.
- Very high: If it is between 190 or above.
However, for the people suffering from any heart disease or blood vessel disease the recommended LDL goal during treatment is usually less than 70. The treatment goal for the ones with a high-risk disease like diabetes or any other multiple risk heart disease is to reach an LDL level of less than 100.
What Is A Direct Ldl Cholesterol Test
The direct low-density lipoprotein cholesterol test measures the amount of LDL cholesterol, sometimes called bad cholesterol, in the blood. Elevated levels of LDL-C are associated with an increased risk of hardening of the arteries and heart disease.
Usually, your LDL-C level is calculated using the measured values of the components of a standard lipid panel: total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol , and triglycerides. Using a mathematical equation, the amount of LDL-C can be determined from the three measured values. Calculated LDL-C is about as accurate as direct LDL-C when triglyceride levels are normal and can be done at no additional cost as part of a lipid profile.
In most cases, calculated LDL-C is a good estimate of the LDL-C, but it becomes less accurate with increasing triglyceride levels. When triglycerides are significantly elevated , the equation is no longer valid. Other conditions such as severe cirrhosis can also affect the accuracy of calculated LDL-C. In these situations, the only way to accurately determine LDL-C is to measure it directly or with special testing techniques .
High triglycerides may be due to a metabolic disorder affecting lipids. However, anyone may have high triglycerides after eating. In either situation, the direct LDL-C test can determine the amount of LDL in your blood.
Read the article on LDL Cholesterol to learn more about LDL-C and what results might mean.
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Getting Help For Your Child
If you are worried about your child’s weight, consider consulting with a registered dietitian or expressing your concerns with your pediatrician.
Children can benefit from getting involved in meal planning, shopping, and cooking, reducing intake of sweetened beverages, and learning how to eat more fruits and vegetables. Being a good role model and getting the entire family on board is also important for making changes and providing your child with confidence.
What Are Some Things That Can Affect My Cholesterol Levels
There are a variety of factors that can affect your cholesterol. While some things are unavoidable like age and family history, making heart-healthy lifestyle changes such as balanced meal plans, regular exercise, and weight management goes a long way to improving your long-term health, said Chiadika.
- Diet Foods rich in saturated fat or trans fat have the biggest impact on your blood cholesterol levels. Consider healthier options to help reduce intake of these types of fats.
- Obesity Being overweight raises your triglycerides levels and lowers your HDL. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes regularly.
- Smoking This not only lowers your HDL level but also raises your LDL level. Eliminate this habit or look into a smoking cessation program.
- Age Cholesterol levels tend to rise as we age. Although less common, children and teens can also have high levels as well.
- Family history High cholesterol can run in families. In most cases, children with high cholesterol have a parent who also has elevated levels of cholesterol.
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Why Is Ldl Called The Bad Cholesterol
LDL is called the bad cholesterol because it can cause a buildup of fat and cholesterol in the walls of your blood vessels. If your LDL has been high for many years, this buildup can clog the arteries to your heart or brain. The arteries may be partly or totally blocked. The medical word for this blockage is atherosclerosis. Clogged arteries to the heart can cause a heart attack. Clogged arteries to the brain can cause a stroke.
Interpreting Ldl Cholesterol Test Results
Possible Cardiovascular RisksWith rising LDL levels, the risk of cardiovascular diseases, related specifically with processes like atherosclerosis a serious condition that occurs in chances of bad cholesterol combining with other substances in the blood. This further leads to the development of plaques in the arteries. With this, the blood flow gets tough.
Very high LDL cholesterol levels can lead to conditions like:
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What Causes High Ldl Cholesterol
High LDL is when there are unhealthy elevated levels of this cholesterol in your blood. A range of factors cause these to rise, including:
- Diet: Eating an excess of foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol, as in fatty cuts of meat, dairy products, bacon, cakes, sausages, and others, raises levels.
- Weight status: Being overweight or obese causes increases in LDL levels, making weight management an integral part of managing this condition.
- Physical activity: Those that don’t get enough exercise or are too sedentary are at risk of high LDL due to weight gain or excessive weight status.
- Genetics: High LDL can be an inherited condition and runs in families. If you know of relatives with high cholesterol, be aware that you may be at higher risk.
- Medications: A side-effect of some classes of pharmaceutical drugs is high LDL. This can happen with beta-blockers, diuretics, some types of birth control, antivirals, and antiseizure drugs , among others.
- Medical conditions: Human immunodeficiency virus , chronic kidney disease, and diabetes are among the conditions that lead to spikes in LDL.
Lifestyle Changes To Control Cholesterol
All the above-mentioned hazards of high cholesterol can be avoided by maintaining good numbers of cholesterol levels. However, it is not always necessary to go for medicines to control cholesterol. This can be done through diet and some lifestyle changes as well. These lifestyle changes can be adopted at any age.
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Hdl Cholesterol: ‘good’ Cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is considered “good” cholesterol because it actually works to keep the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol from building up in your arteries. The higher the HDL, the better. HDL levels of 60 mg/dL and higher can help reduce your risk for heart disease. Conversely, HDL levels of 40 mg/dL and lower are considered a high risk-factor for developing heart disease.
How Do I Prepare For My Cholesterol Test
If your doctor recommends a non-fasting cholesterol test, the lab will look only at your total cholesterol numbers. For that test, you merely need to show up at the lab and have some blood drawn. If your doctor suggests a fasting cholesterol test , the lab will analyze your levels of LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. For that test, you will need to fast nine to 12 hours before the blood test.
Sometimes a doctor will ask you to do a non-fasting cholesterol test first. Depending on the results, they may then send you back for the more complete lipid profile.
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What Can Affect My Ldl Level
Things that can affect your LDL level include
- Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level rise
- Weight. Being overweight tends to raise your LDL level, lower your HDL level, and increase your total cholesterol level
- Physical Activity. A lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain, which can raise your LDL level
- Smoking.Cigarette smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL from your arteries, if you have less HDL, that can contribute to you having a higher LDL level.
- Age and Sex. As women and men get older, their cholesterol levels rise. Before the age of menopause, women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After the age of menopause, women’s LDL levels tend to rise.
- Genetics. Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High cholesterol can run in families. For example, familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited form of high blood cholesterol.
- Medicines. Certain medicines, including steroids, some blood pressure medicines, and HIV/AIDS medicines, can raise your LDL level.
- Other medical conditions. Diseases such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS can cause a higher LDL level.
- Race. Certain races may have an increased risk of high blood cholesterol. For example, African Americans typically have higher HDL and LDL cholesterol levels than whites.
Research For Your Health
The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health the Nations biomedical research agency that makes important scientific discoveries to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including high blood cholesterol. Learn about current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.
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Your Test Results: A Preview
Your test results will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood . Your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol are among numerous factors your doctor can use to predict your lifetime or 10-year risk for a heart attack or stroke. Your doctor will also consider other risk factors, such as age, family history, smoking status, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Lipid profile or lipid panel is a blood test that will give you results for your HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total blood cholesterol.
What Reduces Cholesterol Quickly
There is no quick fix for reducing cholesterol. But there are plenty of ways to reduce your cholesterol naturally. Eating a high fiber diet, reducing saturated fat, weight loss , exercise, and smoking cessation are just some of the things within your control. If lifestyle interventions are unsuccessful, medication is always an option.
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What Is A Normal Ldl Cholesterol Level
The LDL test is a little different from many other blood tests because the results are reported as optimal, near optimal, borderline high, high, and very high instead of just normal or abnormal. According to MedlinePlus, LDL levels of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter are optimal. LDL levels of 100 to 129 mg/dL are near optimal, LDL levels of 130 to 159 mg/dL are borderline high, LDL levels of 160 to 189 mg/dL are high, and LDL levels of 190 mg/dL and above are very high.
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Affect Of Age Over Ldl
Cholesterol levels tend to increase with age so taking precautions with age is essential for food health. Several years of unmanaged cholesterol levels get uncontrollable and even untreatable at times.
Children are usually less likely to have high levels of cholesterol unless they are born with some anomaly or particular heart disease. Otherwise getting cholesterol levels checked just once or twice before they reach the age of 18 is more than enough.
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What Does The Term Total Cholesterol Mean
The term total cholesterol refers to the total amount of the different kinds of cholesterol in your blood. One kind of cholesterol is the LDL cholesterol. Another kind is the HDL cholesterol. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. LDL is the bad cholesterol. HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. HDL is the good cholesterol.
Are Test Results Accurate
While no test is always accurate, measurements of blood cholesterol are an effective tool for estimating your risk of cardiovascular disease. Various factors can affect the accuracy of a cholesterol test:
- Direct vs calculated testing: While calculated LDL cholesterol levels are sufficient in most cases, direct testing provides more accurate results in patients with elevated triglyceride levels. Patients who may have elevated triglyceride levels include those diagnosed with type II diabetes or obesity, patients with a history of considerable alcohol intake, and patients taking medication to increase triglycerides.
- Fasting: In most cases, a lipid profile requires fasting. Eating within 8-12 hours before a lipid panel may increase the level of triglycerides in your bloodstream. Because this increased level of triglycerides could affect the accuracy of calculated LDL cholesterol values, your doctor may request that you refrain from eating prior to your blood draw.
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What Do The Results Mean
The results of the test determine whether the cholesterol levels in the persons blood are healthy.
The results will be broken down into several categories by the type of fat. The results are measured in milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood .
Total cholesterol levels
Having a result less than 200 mg/dL is considered good. Borderline high results range from 200-239 mg/dL. High cholesterol levels are considered to be any number over 240 mg/dL.
HDL cholesterol levels
With HDL, it is higher levels that are desirable. A result below 40 mg/dL is poor. A result between 40 and 59 mg/dL is better, while a reading of 60 mg/dL or higher is the best result.
LDL cholesterol levels
LDL cholesterol recommendations vary based on the health of an individual.
- People with heart disease or diabetes should aim for LDL levels below 70 mg/dL.
- Individuals with no heart disease but who are at higher risk for heart disease need to keep levels below 100 mg/dL.
- For people with no increased risk of heart disease, LDL levels between 100 and 129 mg/dL are near perfect.
- A reading from 130 to 159 mg/dL is considered borderline high for those with no heart disease and high for those where heart disease is present.
- A reading from 160 to 189 mg/dL is considered high for those without heart disease and very high for those with heart disease.
- A reading above 190 mg/dL is considered very high for all groups.
Lifestyle changes for high cholesterol include the following:
What Is Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all the cells in your body. Your liver makes cholesterol, and it is also in some foods, such as meat and dairy products. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But having too much cholesterol in your blood raises your risk of coronary artery disease.
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