High Cholesterol

High cholesterol or hyperlipidemia can take the forms of high bad cholesterol (LDL, Low Density Lipoprotein) and/or high triglycerides (oily blood). If accompanied by low ‘protective’ cholesterol (low High Density Cholesterol), there is added risk of vascular disease such as heart (coronary) disease, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease (problems with circulation in the legs).

Hyperlipidemia may be secondary to other problems such as hypothyroidism, nephrotic syndrome and bile duct obstruction, etc.  It is commonly associated with diabetes and requires stricter control of LDL (at least <2.6mmol/l or 100mg/dl).

When LDL is higher than  5.2mmol/l (200mg/dl) or Total Cholesterol > 7.8mmol/l (300mg/dl), it is likely that the patient is suffering from familial hypercholesterolemia. Early treatment is necessary to reduce risk of heart attack or stroke which usually has an onset at around the age of 50 years.

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