Hyperlipidemia - High Cholesterol
Blood cholesterol levels are measured with a simple blood test.
A blood sample is taken that will be used to determine the amount of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL), good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) andother fatty substances (triglycerides) in your blood.
You may be asked not to eat for 10-12 hours before the cholesterol test, usually including when you're asleep at night. This ensures that all food is completely digested and won't affect the outcome of the test.
Your GP or practice nurse can carry out thecholesterol test and will take a blood sample, either using a needle and a syringe or by pricking your finger.
A newer type of test that measures non-high-density lipoprotein (non-HDL) is now sometimes used because it's thought to be a more accurate way of estimating cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk than LDL.
Non-HDL cholesterol is total cholesterol minus HDL cholesterol. It's also not necessary to fast before the test, so itis more convenient.
Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:
After your cholesterol test, your GP or nurse will explain your results and calculate whether you have a high, moderate or low risk of developing heart disease or stroke (cardiovascular disease)within the next 10 years.
However, this risk isn't just based on your cholesterol reading. It also takes into account:
Based on your results, your GP or nurse will recommend steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing CVD.
This may include advice about making lifestyle changes, such as eating more healthilyby increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, for example and doing more exercise.
Cholesterol-lowering medication, such as statins , may also be recommended.
As a result of the increased risk of developing CVD, it's very important that those with familial hypercholesterolaemia are diagnosed as early as possible and offered appropriate treatment.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that adults with a total cholesterol level of above 7.5mmol/l before treatment should be assessed forfamilial hypercholesterolaemia.
If you've been diagnosed withfamilial hypercholesterolaemia, you'll be referred for a specialist assessment, which may include DNA testing to confirm the diagnosis.
Appropriate treatment will be recommended and other members of your family who may be affected will also be tested.
You'll be closely monitored, and should have a full review at least once a year to check how well your treatment is working and assess any symptoms you may have.
Children at risk offamilial hypercholesterolaemia will be tested by the time they reach10 years of age.
This is because any signs of CVD, such as thickening of the carotid artery wall, will be identifiable by this age.
The assessment will be carried out by a specialist with expertise in familial hypercholesterolaemia in children and young people.
Early diagnosis offamilial hypercholesterolaemia means it's possible to recommend lifestyle changes and other appropriate treatments to reduce the long-term problems associated with high cholesterol and improve long-term health.
For further information, see the NICE guidance about familial hypercholesterolaemia (PDF, 226kb) .
Find out what cholesterol is, what causes high cholesterol, why it's important to keep your cholesterol levels under control, and how to lower your cholesterol.
Read about the possible causes of high cholesterol, including having an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, being overweight, smoking, and drinking too much alcohol.
Blood cholesterol levels are measured with a simple blood test. This blood sample will be used to determine the amount of LDL, HDL, and triglycerides in your blood.
Find out what to do if you have high cholesterol, including making changes to your diet and increasing the amount of exercise you do. Statins may also be recommended.
You can lower your cholesterol by eating healthily, not smoking and exercising regularly.
Cholesterol is a component found all over your body, playing crucial vital roles. If too much cholesterol accumulates in your blood, you have a higher risk of coronary artery disease and other cardiovascular diseases.The levels of cholesterol in your body vary according to age, gender, and weight.