Cholesterol - LDL, HDL, VLDL, IDL

General or Other | Cardiology | Cholesterol - LDL, HDL, VLDL, IDL (Disease)


Total cholesterol is the sum of LDL (low density) cholesterol, HDL (high density) cholesterol, VLDL (very low density) cholesterol, and IDL (intermediate density) cholesterol. Triglycerides. Another type of fat in the bloodstream, triglycerides are also linked to heart disease. They are stored in fat cells throughout the body.

In addition to measure the total cholesterol in the blood, the standard cholesterol test (called a lipoprotein profile) measures three specific kinds of fat. LDL cholesterol is called bad cholesterol, because elevated levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

Causes and Risk factors

LDL lipoprotein deposits cholesterol on the artery walls, causing the formation of a hard, thick substance called cholesterol plaque. Over time, cholesterol plaque causes thickening of the artery walls and narrowing of the arteries, a process called atherosclerosis.

HDL cholesterol is called the good cholesterol because HDL cholesterol particles prevent atherosclerosis by extracting cholesterol from the artery walls and disposing of them through the liver. Thus, high levels of LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol (high LDL/HDL ratios) are risk factors for atherosclerosis, while low levels of LDL cholesterol and high level of HDL cholesterol (low LDL/HDL ratios) are desirable.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Lifestyle changes such as exercising and eating a healthy diet are the first line of defense against high cholesterol. The specific choice of medication or combination of medications depends on various factors, including the individual risk factors, the age, the current health and possible side effects. Common choices include: statins, bile-acid-binding resins, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, combination cholesterol absorption inhibitor and statin. ...