Hyperlipidaemia: Types of Lipids

Hyperlipidaemia refers to increased levels of lipids (fats) in the blood, including cholesterol and triglycerides. Learn more about blood cholesterol and hyperlipidaemia treatment.

/sites/assets/Assets/Categories/Chronic%20Illness/Clogged_artery_platelets_dreamstime_l_51179920.jpg?Width=616&Height=275
Hyperlipidemia is the term used to describe increased levels of lipids (fats) in the blood; these lipids include cholesterol and triglycerides. 

Although hyperlipidaemia symptoms may not have major effects on daily life, the condition can significantly increase the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). People with CHD develop thickened or hardened arteries in the heart muscle. This can cause chest pain, a heart attack, or both. Because of these risks, early hyperlipidaemia treatment is often recommended.

We look at the risk factors for coronary heart disease, the types of lipids, and when cholesterol testing should begin.

Types of Lipids — Are You at Risk?

There are many different types of lipid particles, which are also known as lipoproteins. Blood tests can determine levels of the most commonly measured lipoproteins, to assess one’s risk of hyperlipidaemia. The standard lipid blood tests include a measurement of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides.
 

Total Cholesterol

An elevated total cholesterol level is associated with an increased risk of CHD. A desirable total cholesterol level is usually less than 200 mg/dL (5.17 mmol/L). A total cholesterol level of 200 to 239 mg/dL (5.17 to 6.18 mmol/L) is borderline high, while a value greater than or equal to 240 mg/dL (6.21 mmol/L) is high. However, most decisions about hyperlipidaemia treatment are made based upon the level of LDL or HDL cholesterol, rather than the level of total cholesterol.

Your total cholesterol can be measured any time of day and you don’t have to fast before this particular test.

LDL Cholesterol 

LDL cholesterol (sometimes referred to as “bad cholesterol”) is a more accurate predictor of CHD than total cholesterol. Higher LDL cholesterol concentrations are associated with an increased incidence of CHD in many studies.

Most healthcare providers prefer to measure LDL cholesterol after the person has fasted (not eaten) for 12 to 14 hours. A test to measure LDL in people who have not fasted is also available, though the results may differ slightly from the fasting result.

People with hyperlipidaemia should know their own LDL cholesterol level, as well as their goal LDL. This goal depends upon several factors, including the person's history of CHD or CHD risk equivalents and their 10-year risk score of developing CHD.

The 10-year risk score is based on information from the Framingham Heart Study, a large ongoing study that has followed participants, as well as their children and grandchildren, for over 50 years. The 10-year risk can be calculated for both women and men.
 

Triglycerides

High triglyceride levels are also associated with an increased risk of CHD. Triglyceride levels are divided as follows:
Normal: less than 150 mg/dL (1.69 mmol/L)
Borderline high: 150 to 199 mg/dL (1.69 to 2.25 mmol/L)
High: 200 to 499 mg/dL (2.25 to 5.63 mmmol/L)
Very high: greater than 500 mg/dL (5.65 mmol/L)

Triglycerides should be measured after fasting for 12 to 14 hours.
 

HDL Cholesterol

Not all cholesterol is bad. Elevated levels of HDL cholesterol may actually lower the risk of heart disease. In fact, a very high HDL (greater than or equal to 60 mg/dL or 1.55 mmol/L) is considered a negative risk factor for CHD (removes one risk factor). On the other hand, treatment is sometimes recommended for people with low levels of HDL cholesterol (<40 mg/dL or 1.03 mmol/L), particularly if they already have heart disease.

Similar to total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol can be measured on any blood specimen. It is not necessary to fast before testing.

Read these next: 



MORE A-Z

Cervical Cancer Prevention
Cervical Cancer Prevention

Precancer of the Cervix — Why the Pap Smear is Important

KK Women's and Children's Hospital
X

Share on Facebook now for
Healthpoints

Stroke: About Stroke
Stroke: About Stroke

An introduction to how a stroke occurs.

Stroke Services Improvement Team
X

Share on Facebook now for
Healthpoints

brain-mri-scan
Stroke: Types and Causes

What are the different types of strokes?

Stroke Services Improvement Team
X

Share on Facebook now for
Healthpoints

More A-Z

614
Hyperlipidaemia: Types of Lipids

 Catalog-Item Reuse

Back to Top