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HYPERLIPIDEMIA (high cholesterol): Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made in the liver and found in certain foods, such as food from animals, like dairy products (whole milk), eggs and meat. The body needs some cholesterol in order to function properly. Its cell walls, or membranes, need cholesterol in order to produce hormones, vitamin D and the bile acids that help to digest fat. But, the body needs only a small amount of cholesterol to meet its needs. When too much is present health problems such as coronary heart disease may develop.


What Is Coronary Heart Disease?

When too much cholesterol is present, plaque (a thick, hard deposit) may form in the body's arteries narrowing the space for blood to flow to the heart. Over time, this buildup causes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) which can lead to heart disease. When not enough oxygen-carrying blood reaches the heart chest pain — called angina — can result. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by total blockage of a coronary artery, the result is a heart attack. This is usually due to a sudden closure from a blood clot forming on top of a previous narrowing.



Cholesterol travels through the blood attached to a protein — this cholesterol-protein package is called a lipoprotein. Lipoproteins are classified as high density, low density, or very low density, depending on how much protein there is in relation to fat.

Hyperlipidemia* Low density lipoproteins (LDL): LDL, also called "bad" cholesterol, can cause buildup of plaque on the walls of arteries. The more LDL there is in the blood, the greater the risk of heart disease.

* High density lipoproteins (HDL): HDL, also called "good" cholesterol, helps the body get rid of bad cholesterol in the blood. The higher the level of HDL cholesterol, the better. If your levels of HDL are low, your risk of heart disease increases.
* Very low density lipoproteins (VLDL): VLDL is similar to LDL cholesterol in that it contains mostly fat and not much protein.

Total Cholesterol Category
Less than 200 DESIRABLE
Dr_Todd_Leslie_Coronary-Heart-Disease200 – 239 Borderline High
240 and above High

LDL Cholesterol LDL-Cholesterol Category
Less than 100 Optimal
100 – 129 Near optimal
130 – 159 Borderline high
160 – 189 High
190 and above Very High

HDL Cholesterol HDL-Cholesterol Category
60 and above Optimal; helps to lower risk of heart disease
Less than 40 in men and
Less than 50 in women Low; considered a risk factor for heart disease.
Everyone over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol measured at least once every
5 years.