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Conditions InDepth: Lipid Disorders
Lipids are fatty substance in the blood that are involved in many body processes. Lipid disorders are abnormal levels of these lipids in the blood. Cholesterol and triglycerides are two types of lipids that are measured.
A total cholesterol level of:
*mg/dL = milligrams per deciliter blood (mmol/L = millimoles per liter blood)
There are two main types of cholesterol:
Triglycerides also contribute to heart disease in some people. Levels from 150-199 mg/dL are borderline high and above 199 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L) are considered high. Higher levels tend to run in families or people with central (abdominal) obesity.
Factors such as heredity, certain drugs, and diets high in saturated and trans fat can lead to unhealthy elevations in lipid levels. Large amounts of carbohydrates or alcohol may also lead to high lipid levels.
• What are the risk factors for lipid disorders? • What are the symptoms of lipid disorders? • How are lipid disorders diagnosed? • What are the treatments for lipid disorders? • Are there screening tests for lipid disorders? • How can I reduce my risk of lipid disorders? • What questions should I ask my doctor? • What is it like to live with lipid disorders? • Where can I get more information about lipid disorders?
Hypercholesterolemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated September 9, 2012. Accessed September 12, 2012.
Cholesterol. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbc/. Accessed September 12, 2012.
Cholesterol. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.o.... Accessed September 12, 2012.
Pejic RA, Lee DT. Hypertriglyceridemia. JABFM. 2006;19:310-316.
Last reviewed October 2012 by Brian Randall, MD
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