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School of Medicine
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Conditions We Treat: Lipid Disorders
Lipids, or lipoproteins, are the fats found circulating in the bloodstream. They include low-density lipoproteins (LDL), high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and triglycerides.
LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, can contribute to the formation of plaque buildup in your arteries, known as atherosclerosis, which is linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. HDL, or "good" cholesterol, helps to remove cholesterol from the blood, preventing the fatty buildup and formation of plaque.
Lipid Disorders: What You Need to Know
- Cardiovascular disease is caused by atherosclerosis and is particularly sensitive to lipid levels.
- Cholesterol screenings look at the fats in blood and help identify those at risk of heart disease.
- Elevated triglyceride levels may be caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, kidney disease or liver disease. Dietary causes may include high alcohol intake and foods containing cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fat.
- There are a number of easy ways to lower your LDLs, including avoiding foods high in saturated fat, dietary cholesterol and excess calories; exercising; maintaining a healthy weight; and stopping smoking.
- Medical treatment may include modification of risk factors and cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins.