July 31, 2017
August 1, 2017

What is Lipid profile test?

Lipid profile is a blood test to check cholesterol levels. It reports:

  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides

Do I need to fast for this test ?

For the most accurate measurements, don’t eat or drink anything (other than water) for 8 to 12 hours before the blood sample is taken.

What are different types of cholesterol ?

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) : LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol transports cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL cholesterol builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) : HDL, or “good,” cholesterol picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver.

How to Interpret the numbers ?

In the United States, cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood. To interpret your test results, use these general guidelines.

Total cholesterol    
Below 200 mg/dL   Desirable
200-239 mg/dL   Borderline high
240 mg/dL and above   High


LDL cholesterol    
Below 70 mg/dL   Best for people who have heart disease or diabetes.
Below 100 mg/dL   Optimal for people at risk of heart disease.
100-129 mg/dL   Near optimal if there is no heart disease. High if there is heart disease.
130-159 mg/dL   Borderline high if there is no heart disease. High if there is heart disease.
160-189 mg/dL   High if there is no heart disease. Very high if there is heart disease.
190 mg/dL and above   Very high


HDL cholesterol    
Below 40 mg/dL (men)
Below 50 mg/dL (women)
50-59 mg/dL   Better
60 mg/dL and above   Best


Below 150 mg/dL   Desirable  
150-199 mg/dL   Borderline high  
200-499 mg/dL   High  
500 mg/dL and above   Very high  

What are the symptoms of High Cholesterol ?

High cholesterol has no symptoms. A blood test is the only way to detect high cholesterol.

When to see a doctor ?

Ask your doctor if you should have a cholesterol test. Recommendations for the age of first screening vary. Retesting is usually performed every five years.

If your test results aren’t within desirable ranges, your doctor may recommend more frequent measurements.

What are the risk factors for high cholesterol ?

Factors that may increase your risk of high cholesterol include:

1- Poor diet : Eating saturated fat, found in animal products, and trans fats, found in some commercially baked cookies and crackers, can raise your cholesterol level. Foods that are high in cholesterol, such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, will also increase your total cholesterol.

2- Having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater puts you at risk of high cholesterol.

3- Large waist circumference : Your risk increases if you are a man with a waist circumference of at least 40 inches (102 centimeters) or a woman with a waist circumference of at least 35 inches (89 centimeters).

4- Lack of exercise : Exercise helps boost your body’s HDL, or “good,” cholesterol while increasing the size of the particles that make up your LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol, which makes it less harmful.

5- Cigarette smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels, making them likely to accumulate fatty deposits. Smoking may also lower your level of HDL, or “good,” cholesterol.

6- High blood sugar contributes to higher LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. High blood sugar also damages the lining of your arteries. 

What are the complications of high cholesterol?

Development of atherosclerosis :

High cholesterol can deposit on the walls of your arteries. These deposits can reduce blood flow through your arteries, which can cause complications, such as:

1- Chest pain : If the arteries that supply your heart with blood (coronary arteries) are affected, you may have chest pain (angina) and other symptoms of coronary artery disease.

2- Heart attack : If plaques tear or rupture, a blood clot may form at the plaque-rupture site — blocking the flow of blood or breaking free and plugging an artery downstream. If blood flow to part of your heart stops, you’ll have a heart attack.

3- If blood flow to part of your brain is blocked by a blood clot, a stroke occurs.

How is High Cholesterol treated ?

Lifestyle changes such as exercising and eating a healthy diet are the first line of defense against high cholesterol. But, if you’ve made these important lifestyle changes and your cholesterol levels remain high, your doctor may recommend medication.

1- Statins block a substance your liver needs to make cholesterol. This causes your liver to remove cholesterol from your blood. Statins may also help your body reabsorb cholesterol from built-up deposits on your artery walls, potentially reversing coronary artery disease. Some examples are atorvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin.

2- Bile-acid-binding resins : Reduce the level of cholesterol in your blood.

3- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors : Your small intestine absorbs the cholesterol from your diet and releases it into your bloodstream. The drug ezetimibe helps reduce blood cholesterol by limiting the absorption of dietary cholesterol.

4- Injectable medications : A new class of drugs can help the liver absorb more LDL cholesterol which lowers the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood. Alirocumab and evolocumab may be used for people who have a genetic condition that causes very high levels of LDL or in people with a history of coronary disease who have intolerance to statins or other cholesterol medications.

Medications for high triglycerides :

If you also have high triglycerides, your doctor may prescribe :

1- The medications fenofibrate and gemfibrozil decrease triglycerides.

2- Niacin decreases triglycerides by limiting your liver’s ability to produce LDL and VLDL cholesterol.

3- Omega-3 fatty acid supplements.Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help lower your triglycerides. They are available by prescription or over-the-counter. If you choose to take over-the-counter supplements, get your doctor’s OK first. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements could affect other medications you’re taking.