How Is An Hdl Cholesterol Test Different From A Lipid Panel
A lipid panel always includes a measurement of HDL cholesterol, but HDL cholesterol levels can be tested without doing a full lipid panel.
A standard lipid panel measures total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. It then uses those measurements to calculate the amount of LDL cholesterol.
How Can I Lower My Cholesterol
There are two main ways to lower your cholesterol:
- Heart-healthy lifestyle changes, which include:
- Heart-healthy eating. A heart-healthy eating plan limits the amount of saturated and trans fats that you eat. Examples include the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet and the DASH Eating Plan.
- Weight Management. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Physical Activity. Everyone should get regular physical activity .
- Managing stress. Research has shown that chronic stress can sometimes raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol.
- Quitting smoking.Quitting smoking can raise your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries, having more HDL can help to lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Drug Treatment. If lifestyle changes alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol medicines available, including statins. The medicines work in different ways and can have different side effects. Talk to your health care provider about which one is right for you. While you are taking medicines to lower your cholesterol, you should continue with the lifestyle changes.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Safe Blood Cholesterol Levels
Health authorities recommend that cholesterol levels should be no higher than 5.5 mmol per litre if there are no other risk factors present. If there are other cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure or pre-existing cardiovascular disease, then the aim for the LDL levels would be less than 2 mmol/l. Approximately half of all adult Australians have a blood cholesterol level above 5 mmol/l. This makes high blood cholesterol a major health concern in Australia.
Read Also: How Much Mg Of Cholesterol A Day
How Are Cholesterol Tests Results Used
Your doctor will make a treatment recommendation based on your level of heart disease risk. Guidelines do not use a single cholesterol level to determine treatment options.
- If you already have coronary heart disease with symptoms such as chest pain or a previous heart attack, taking medication to reduce your low density lipoprotein cholesterol is very beneficial and possibly life-saving.
- If you have been hospitalized due to heart attack or stroke, you will start treatment before you leave the hospital. The latest 2018 cholesterol guidelines recommend using a high-intensity statin , such as higher doses of;rosuvastatin or atorvastatin to get cholesterol levels below 70 mg/dL. You will be encouraged to follow a heart-healthy diet, exercise, lose weight and stop smoking, if needed.
- If you do not have a diagnosis of heart disease but your cholesterol levels are high, your doctor will look at your other risk factors, and may determine your 10-year risk of cardiac disease. Usually, lifestyle changes like a healthy diet and exercise are implemented for the first 6 to 12 months. Diet and exercise can drop cholesterol levels by roughly 10 percent.
Who Should Have A Cholesterol Test
Anyone can have their blood cholesterol level tested, but its particularly important for people that are over 40 years old, have high blood pressure, are overweight, or have a family history of coronary heart disease.
Adults aged between 4074 years, living in England are eligible for a free NHS Health Check which includes a blood cholesterol check. If you have a history of heart disease in the family or youre concerned you have high cholesterol, speak with your doctor who will be able to offer some advice.
Recommended Reading: How Many Strawberries A Day To Lower Cholesterol
Are Home Cholesterol Testing Kits Accurate
The answer is yes if the tests are labeled CDC-certified. This means that the contents have been approved by the Cholesterol Reference Method Laboratory Network, a group that works with test makers, laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make sure tests are accurate.
For home tests, you will still need to fast for 12 hours and to obtain blood for testing. Some kits come with packages for mailing to a lab for results. Other kits have a monitor so you can get the results at home. The cost of such home kits vary.
Ways To Reduce Cholesterol Through Healthier Eating
- Replace butter on bread with sunflower or olive oil spreads.
- Reduce cooking with high level fats such as butter, lard, ghee, and goose fat. Use minimal amount of vegetable oils and spreads when cooking instead.
- Replace fatty meats, such as sausages and burgers, with lean meats, such as chicken and all kinds of fish .
- Avoid snacks such as cakes, biscuits, chocolate and;pastries, and replace with nuts , dried and fresh fruit, or hummus.
- Cut out full fat milk or cream in yoghurt, tea and coffee, soups and sauces. Replace with a lower fat option, such as skimmed milk.
- Try;to cut out cheese altogether. If you must eat cheese, ensure it’s low fat or stick to much smaller portion sizes, less often.
- Eat soups that are low in salt and made with vegetable stock and choose tomato-based sauces over creamy ones. However, also be aware of the sugar in some tomato-based sauces. High sugar content food is not good for someone with raised cholesterol.
- Avoid frying foods. Use alternative cooking methods such as grilling, slow cooking and poaching. If roasting something, ensure you use a small amount of vegetable oil, such as;olive, sunflower or rapeseed oil.
Take a look at our article on the best cholesterol-lowering foods for more information, or visit our;diet and nutrition centre for lots of dietary tips, inspiration and healthy and delicious recipesto help get you started.
Recommended Reading: What Do My Cholesterol Numbers Mean
What Complications Are Possible If You Dont Treat High Cholesterol Levels In Your Blood
The main reason to treat high cholesterol is to prevent or treat coronary heart disease , also called coronary artery disease or CAD. CHD happens when heart is not able to get enough oxygen-rich blood to function well and kills more people in the U.S. than any other cause of death. CHD usually refers to the large arteries, but there is also a condition called coronary microvascular disease that affects the small vessels and causes damage.
How Is An Hdl Cholesterol Test Different From A Low
An HDL cholesterol test and LDL cholesterol test measure different types of cholesterol. The two types of cholesterol are transported in the blood in distinct kinds of particles.
In common descriptions, HDL cholesterol is known as good cholesterol while LDL cholesterol is bad cholesterol. The amount of HDL cholesterol compared to LDL cholesterol can be an important consideration in cardiovascular health.
Measuring HDL cholesterol is more straightforward than measuring LDL cholesterol. For this reason, levels of LDL cholesterol are most often calculated using a formula based on levels of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In some situations, though, a doctor may prescribe a direct LDL test.
You May Like: Can High Cholesterol Cause Elevated Liver Enzymes
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
A blood test, specifically a lipid panel or lipid profile, will show your total cholesterol levels.;
The measured total cholesterol level is made up of your;LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and 20% of triglycerides .;
For an accurate reading, you should not eat or drink anything between nine and twelve hours before the sample is taken.
In Australia, cholesterol levels are measured in millimoles per litre .
The range below is a guide for a healthy blood cholesterol level.
- Total cholesterol should be between: 3.9 5.5 mmol/L
- HDL; should be between: 0.9 2.1 mmol/L
- LDL; should be between: 1.7-3.5 mmol/L
- Triglycerides;should be between: 0.5 1.7 mmol/L
This is one of the key checks that we do on the mobile Heart Health Check Tour, along with checking your blood pressure and sugar levels. This visual cholesterol guide is also available as a PDF to .;
What Levels Are Normal And When Are They Too High
“Its normal for cholesterol levels to rise slightly as you get older and women tend to have higher HDL than men. In the UK, the average total cholesterol level is 5.7mmol/l.” – Dr Zenon Andreou
“Its normal for cholesterol levels to rise slightly as you get older and women tend to have higher HDL than men. In the UK, the average total cholesterol level is 5.7mmol/l.”
There are two main types of lipoprotein:
- High-density good lipoprotein ;this type carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver to be broken down or passed away as a waste product.
- Low-density bad;lipoprotein takes cholesterol to the cells where its needed. If there is more LDL than needed, it can build up in the artery walls.
Read Also: How Many Mg Of Cholesterol A Day
Can Bad Cholesterol Levels Be Too Low Can Good Cholesterol Levels Be Too High
It isnt often that people have bad cholesterol that is too low or good cholesterol that is too high. There are studies being done that suggest that extremes of any kind are not healthy for everyone.
Even though there is no clear-cut number about what LDL level is too low, levels under 40 mg/dL may be associated with certain health issues, including depression/anxiety, and hemorrhagic stroke.
However, there is data from clinical trials to support that there is no evidence of harm when LDLs remain <40mg/dl on statin therapy.
In some cases, genetic conditions can cause you to have very low cholesterol levels. In other cases, nutritional problems, some cancers, hypothyroidism and certain infections can also cause low cholesterol levels. In any of these types of situations, the underlying issues need to be addressed.
In terms of having too much of a good thing, researchers are studying the effects of too much HDL, the good cholesterol. No conclusions have been reached, but there have been studies into the possible relationship between high HDL and cancer, and a greater risk of heart attack among the high risk. Excessively high HDL may be dysfunctional HDL and not protective.
What Factors Affect Cholesterol Levels
A variety of factors can affect your cholesterol levels. They include:
- Diet: Saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in the food you eat increase cholesterol levels. Try to reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in your diet. This will help lower your blood cholesterol level. Saturated and trans fat have the most impact on blood cholesterol.
- Weight: In addition to being a risk factor for heart disease, being overweight can also increase your triglycerides. Losing weight may help lower your triglyceride levels and raise your HDL.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can lower total cholesterol levels. Exercise has the most effect on lowering triglycerides and raising HDL. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Age and sex: As we get older,cholesterol levels rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however, womens LDL levels tend to rise and HDL can drop.
- Heredity: Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
Recommended Reading: What To Do If Your Cholesterol Is Low
Understanding What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean
Medical professionals typically perform cholesterol levels testing among the battery of medical check-ups. They do so because high cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia is a popular medical condition that may considerably have an impact on your heart and overall health. To evaluate your blood cholesterol levels, your physician is going to perform a blood test known as a lipid panel, as well as a lipid profile. It is recommended to not eat or drink anything, apart from water, for approximately 9 hours before the exam to ensure correct evaluation results., while recent studies suggest that it is not necessary. With this guide, you will understand what your results mean. You will know about the total cholesterol, the HDL, the LDL, the triglycerides and even a less popular lipoprotein such as the VLDL. Keep reading!
How Cholesterol Moves Around The Body
Cholesterol is a white, insoluble and waxy substance. It is carried around the body by two key transport systems in the blood, which include:
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol carries most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells. It is called the bad cholesterol because when its level in the bloodstream is high, it can clog up your arteries.
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is called the good cholesterol, because it helps remove excess cholesterol out of the cells, including cells in the arteries.
Read Also: Which One Is The Bad Cholesterol Hdl Or Ldl
Cholesterol Levels For Men And Women
HDL levels differ for men and women
Women naturally have higher HDL cholesterol levels than men due to differences in the genes. Women should aim for an HDL cholesterol level above 1.2mmol/L while men should aim for above 1mmol/L.
Cholesterol levels can rise during pregnancy
During pregnancy, both cholesterol and triglyceride levels can significantly rise. We don’t recommend getting a cholesterol test during pregnancy because your results won’t be accurate. Our advice is to wait until at least 6-8 weeks after your baby is born or after you stop breastfeeding to get a cholesterol test. This means you don’t need to worry unnecessarily. Find out more about pregnancy and blood fats.;
Cholesterol levels rise during the menopause
Women may also find their cholesterol levels rise during the menopause.;
Questions To Ask Your Healthcare Provider
- Am I at risk for high cholesterol?
- How often should I get my cholesterol tested?
- What are my cholesterol levels? What do they mean?
- What are my target cholesterol levels?
- What lifestyle changes do I need to make to help improve my cholesterol levels?
- Should I try adding plant sterols/stanols to my diet? What about other supplements?
- Is there a chance that Ill need cholesterol-lowering medicine?
- What are the risks and benefits of taking this medicine?
You May Like: Are Baked Potatoes High In Cholesterol
Plant Sterols Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
Plant sterols are found naturally in plant foods including sunflower and canola seeds, vegetable oils and in nuts, legumes, cereals, fruit and vegetables. Some margarine and milks have concentrated plant sterols added to them. Margarines enriched with plant sterolslower LDL cholesterol in most people if the correct amount is eaten .
Are Cholesterol Test Kits Reliable
The FDA does regulate some cholesterol tests, but not all. Reliability of kits can vary, and your results may not always be accurate. However, if you feel at-home cholesterol testing is preferable, ask your doctor to recommend a reliable kit. FDA approved home tests kits meet standards for accuracy.
Many test kits only provide total cholesterol levels, or information about HDL or triglycerides. Your LDL is not directly measured but can be calculated. You cant use cholesterol home tests to evaluate your overall heart risk yourself, as many risk factors – such as age, weight, gender, family history, and lifestyle — are used in this determination and should be performed by a doctor.
You May Like: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
What Is The Difference Between Mmol/l And Mg/dl
In the United States your blood cholesterol level is measured in mg/dl or milligrams per decilitre but in the United Kingdom and Europe blood cholesterol level is measured in mmol/I or mill moles per litreHow do you convert your blood cholesterol levels mmol/l to mg/dl?Use this formula, mg/dl Cholesterol=38.6xmmol/lmmol Cholesterol ÷ 38.6 mg/dl
Why Do I Need A Cholesterol Test
You will get a free NHS cholesterol test if you have a number of risk factors for high cholesterol including if youre over 40, have coronary heart disease or diabetes, have had a stroke or mini stroke, or have a family history of cardiovascular disease or a cholesterol-related condition.
Understanding your cholesterol levels
We hear a lot about the dangers of high cholesterol, but unless you have a blood test, you have …
Don’t Miss: Can Keto Cause High Cholesterol
Normal Levels Of Cholesterol In Women
The amount of cholesterol is measured in mmol per liter or mg/DL. The average rate of women in mmol per liter and 5.2, and the rate of 6.2 corresponds to the permitted maximum. During the life of a normal cholesterol level in women is increasing. Normal high levels of cholesterol are also observed in pregnant women. Valid if by the end of the period of gestation the levels of cholesterol in the blood of the mother grows by almost 2 times.
General Information And Causes
Cholesterol is a white, waxy substance that is circulated in the blood. It is essential for your good health as it helps to build cell walls and is used in the manufacture of some hormones.;
However, when there is more cholesterol circulating in the blood than the body needs, it can build up on your artery walls, eventually leading to narrowing and hardening of the arteries. This process is known as atherosclerosis and increases the risk of heart attack,;stroke;and other cardiovascular diseases. More than half of New Zealanders admitted to hospital with a heart attack have high cholesterol levels.
This risk of a cardiovascular health event increases when high blood cholesterol is accompanied by other risk factors such as high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease.;
Your liver produces most of the cholesterol circulating in your blood.; A diet high in saturated fat stimulates the liver to produce more cholesterol so the saturated fat content of the food you eat is likely to have a strong influence on your blood cholesterol levels.;
A small proportion of your blood cholesterol is derived from dietary cholesterol – i.e. cholesterol that is already present in animal foods you might consume .
Other factors that may influence your blood cholesterol levels include:
- Genetic susceptibility to high cholesterol
You May Like: Is Chocolate Bad For Cholesterol