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LDL Cholesterol

Cholesterol is present in all cells in the body. The liver makes this waxy, fat-like substance, which is also in certain foods like dairy products and meat. Cholesterol is important in the body, and you need it for proper body functioning, but excess cholesterol in your blood elevates your risk of coronary artery disease.

What are LDL and HDL?

HDL and LDL are lipoproteins. These are a combination of protein and lipid (fat). Lipids need to be attached to proteins to enable their transportation in the blood. LDL and HDL serve different purposes.

How does a high LDL level increase my coronary artery disease risk and the risk of other diseases?

If your LDL level is high, your blood may have excess LDL cholesterol. The excess LDL and other substances will combine to form plaque. The accumulation of plaque in your arteries results in a condition known as atherosclerosis.

Coronary artery diseases occur from the build-up of plaque in arteries in your heart. This hardens and narrows the arteries, which block or limit blood flow to the heart. Since the blood carries oxygen to the heart, the heart may not get enough oxygen due to little or no blood supply from plaques in the arteries. This may cause angina, and a heart attack will occur if the blood flow is completely cut off.

How can I check my LDL level?

You can undergo a common blood test to check your cholesterol level, including LDL. The time and frequency of testing will depend on your age, family history and risk factors. The following are general recommendations.

People aged 19 or younger

People aged 20 or older

If you have a family history of elevated cholesterol levels, diabetes or heart disease, you may need more frequent cholesterol checks.

What factors affect my LDL level?

Factors that may affect your LDL level are:

What is the normal LDL level?

Lower LDL levels are ideal because the higher the LDL, the more your risk of coronary artery disease and other related health issues. The range of LDL for healthy adults includes:

LDL level LDL cholesterol category
Less than 100 mg/dL Ideal
100 – 129 mg/dL Near ideal range
130 – 159 mg/dL Borderline high
160 – 189 mg/dL High
190 mg/dL and above Very high

If you have a high risk of coronary artery disease or have the condition, your healthcare provider may aim for a different LDL level range.

How can I reduce my LDL level?

Two main ways are available to reduce your LDL level. They include:

Heart-healthy lifestyle changes such as:

Drugs treatment

If lifestyle changes alone aren’t sufficient to reduce your LDL level, you may need medications. Different types of cholesterol-lowering medications are available, including statins. The medicines have varying working mechanisms and side effects.

Ensure you talk to your provider about the most suitable option. Medicines may lower your LDL level, but you still need to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Some people with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) may get lipoprotein apheresis – a treatment requiring a filtering machine to clear LDL cholesterol from the blood before returning the blood to the body.

If you want to check your LDL level, visit our Clinic for a cholesterol level test, including an LDL level check. You can also call us on 02071830244 to book your test.