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Synonyms hypercholesterolaemia, elevated cholesterol
Formula structure of cholesterol
Classification and external resources
Specialty Cardiology
ICD-10 E78.0
ICD-9-CM 272.0
DiseasesDB 6226
MedlinePlus 000403
eMedicine med/1073
MeSH D006937

Hypercholesterolemia, also called dyslipidemia, is the presence of high levels of cholesterol in the blood. It is a form of high blood lipids and "hyperlipoproteinemia" (elevated levels of lipoproteins in the blood).

Elevated levels of non-HDL cholesterol and LDL in the blood may be a consequence of diet, obesity, inherited (genetic) diseases (such as LDL receptor mutations in familial hypercholesterolemia), or the presence of other diseases such as diabetes and an underactive thyroid.

Cholesterol is one of three major classes of lipids which all animal cells use to construct their membranes and is thus manufactured by all animal cells. Plant cells do not manufacture cholesterol. It is also the precursor of the steroid hormones and bile acids. Since cholesterol is insoluble in water, it is transported in the blood plasma within protein particles (lipoproteins). Lipoproteins are classified by their density: very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL). All the lipoproteins carry cholesterol, but elevated levels of the lipoproteins other than HDL (termed non-HDL cholesterol), particularly LDL-cholesterol, are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. In contrast, higher levels of HDL cholesterol are protective.

Interpretation of cholesterol levels
cholesterol type mg/dL mmol/L interpretation
total cholesterol <200 <5.2 desirable
200-239 5.2-6.2 borderline
>240 >6.2 high
LDL cholesterol <100 <2.6 most desirable
100-129 2.6-3.3 good
130-159 3.4-4.1 borderline high
160-189 4.1-4.9 high and undesirable
>190 >4.9 very high
HDL cholesterol <40 <1.0 undesirable; risk increased
41-59 1.0-1.5 okay, but not optimal
>60 >1.55 good; risk lowered
Indications to lower LDL cholesterol
Coronary risk because they have... should consider reduction indicated
high >20% risk of MI in 10 years, or risk factor such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, peripheral-artery disease, carotid-artery disease, or aortic aneurysm >70 mg/dL, 3.88 mmol/L especially if there are risk factors >100 mg/dL, 5.55 mmol/L
moderately high 10-20% risk of MI in 10 years and > 1 risk factors >100 mg/dL, 5.55 mmol/L >130 mg/dL, 7.21 mmol/L
moderate <10% risk of MI in 10 years > 1 risk factors >130 mg/dL, 7.21 mmol/L >160 mg/dL, 8.88 mmol/L
low No or one risk factor >160 mg/dL, 8.88 mmol/L >190 mg/dL, 10.5 mmol/L



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