Cholesterol - LDL
What is Cholesterol - LDL?
Cholesterol - LDL stands for Cholesterol Low Density Lipoprotein. The cholesterol - LDL test is advised to determine the risk of developing heart disease and to monitor effectiveness of lipid-lowering therapy.
Why is Cholesterol - LDL done?
The cholesterol - LDL test is done:
As a part of routine health check-up
As a part of lipid profile along with cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL
In diagnosed case of heart disease
In case of risk factors for heart disease like cigarette smoking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or a family history of heart disease
As a screening test for adults
In case a person is taking lipid-lowering medicines
What does Cholesterol - LDL Measure?
The cholesterol LDL test measures the levels of cholesterol LDL in the blood. LDL also known as low-density lipoprotein carries cholesterol in the blood. It consists mainly of cholesterol, similar other substances, and a small amount of protein.
It is very important to monitor and maintain healthy levels of lipids for staying healthy. Intake of foods that are high in saturated fats and trans unsaturated fats can raise the levels of cholesterol in the blood. The extra cholesterol gets deposited in plaques on the walls of blood vessels. This may result in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It can also increase the risk of various other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.
The cholesterol LDL is known as “bad cholesterol” as it gets deposited in the vessels as plaque, giving rise to cardiovascular diseases. The cholesterol HDL which is the high-density lipoproteins cholesterol is known as “good cholesterol” as its role is to transport cholesterol from the arteries to the liver and thus protects the body against heart diseases.
The cholesterol LDL test helps in determining the risk of heart disease in an individual. It also helps in planning out the treatment considering other known risk factors as well. The treatment can involve changes in lifestyle such as diet and exercise or lipid-lowering medications such as statins.
Interpreting Cholesterol - LDL results
If the LDL cholesterol level is less than 100 mg/dL - Optimal
If it is between 100-129 mg/dL — Near optimal, above optimal
Levels between 130-159 mg/dL — Borderline high
Level between 160-189 mg/dL — High
Greater than 189 mg/dL— Very high
Low levels of LDL cholesterol are not generally a concern and are not monitored.