Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Triglycerides , LDL cholesterol and your risk of heart disease

 I think most of us have had a LIPID panel done.  This test usually includes ;
     Total  Cholesterol
      LDL cholesterol
      HDL cholesterol

 Many of us are satisfied with a call from our doctors office reporting that " every thing looks OK " .

I would like to encourage you to not accept that answer and use a different approach.
      #1  always ask for a copy of your lab. reports
      #2  Know what the recommended goals are for each test
      #3  Any test not at the recommended goal is a reason to make an appointment and discuss the result
            with your doctor
      #4    Read and learn as much as you can about the test in question before seeing your doctor. Your
              doctor is a wonderful source of wisdom and understanding if you just ask for the help.

  Lets take a closer look at your lipid panel.

  Your  total cholesterol is made up of components of each of the other test.

      Total cholesterol = 1/5 of triglycerides + HDL + LDL

       Triglycerides-    triglycerides are often the sleeper with a major impact on our other test results

        LDL Cholesterol
                  LDL cholesterol is made in our liver and
                  LDL is produced in various sizes ,varying from small dense particles to larger fatter particles.

                 The size of the LDL particles changes with our triglyceride levels
                  High triglycerides are associated with an increase in small dense LDL particles and increased
                  risk of heart disease.

                  LDL cholesterol is usually not measured and instead is a calculated number.
                  for example:

                  LDL   =   Cholesterol  -  1/5 of triglycerides   -  HDL
                        Changes in triglyceride levels have a major effect on your LDL test results
                        Higher triglycerides  increase small dense LDL and lower appearing LDL results
         Compare the LDL result by changing triglycerides from 150 mg/dl  to 300 mg/dl

                  Total Cholesterol   -  1/5 triglycerides   -     HDL       = LDL Cholesterol

                         200mg/dl       -    150/5 ( 30 )                  -       40         =    130mg/dl

                          200 mg/dl      -     300/5 (60)                 -       40         =     100 mg/dl

            The decision to recommend a statin becomes a little more complex when elevated triglycerides are
             included in the pictures. This is a common every day problem for people with type 2 diabetes.
             The most common lipid profile for patients with Type 2 diabetes is a slight increase in  total
             cholesterol , LDL and triglycerides.

         What about a Apo-b test.   find out tomorrow.

                                  Have fun      Dr. Calder



  1. This blog is great source for Medium Chain Triglycerides information which is very useful for me. Thank you very much.

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  2. As most of us are probably aware, heart disease is no small problem nowadays. Here in the United States alone the facts regarding this condition are rather eye-opening.Carlmont Pharmacy According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) heart disease is the leading cause of death for both American men and women.


Your comments and questions are appreciated. David Calder,MD