Elevated cholesterol or hyper cholesterolemia may lead to an increased risk of serious disease (eg. atherosclerosis or clogging of the arteries), which in turn can cause coronary thrombosis (heart attack), strokes, transient ischemic attacks or other serious vascular problems.
Borderline High Risk Category
If total blood cholesterol is in the range 200-239 mg/dL you are in the borderline high risk category. If you fall into this group, discuss your cholesterol results with your doctor, and ask for clear advice. A daily program of physical exercise, combined with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables but low in saturated or trans fats may reduce your cholesterol to satisfactory levels.
High Risk Category
If your total blood cholesterol level is 240 mg/dL or more, you are in the high risk category, with typically twice the risk of heart attack as those people with a cholesterol level of 200 mg/dL or less. If you fall into this group, your doctor will require more tests to check your LDL,HDL and triglyceride counts. Results of these lipid tests will determine the appropriate cholesterol treatment program. See below for higher-risk lipid levels.
High Levels Of LDL, HDL, Triglyceride Levels
LDL Cholesterol Count
If your LDL blood cholesterol count is in the range 130 to 159 mg/dL, you are in the borderline high risk category. If your LDL blood cholesterol count is 160 mg/dL or more, you are in the high risk category.
HDL Cholesterol Count
If your HDL blood cholesterol count is 40 or less, you are at higher risk for cardiovascular heart disease.
If the level of triglycerides in your bloodstream is in the range 150–199 mg/dL, you are in the borderline high risk category. If your triglyceride count is 200 mg/dL or more, you are in the high risk category. High triglyceride levels (hyper triglyceridemia) are commonly present in conditions such as: diabetes, obesity, high alcohol consumption, high intakes of high-GI carbohydrates, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Additional Health Risk Factors
In addition to cholesterol levels, there are several other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including: tobacco useage, a sedentary lifestyle, abdominal obesity, diabetes, raised blood pressure (hypertension), a genetic defect or predisposition to raised cholesterol (familial hyper cholesterolemia), or a family history of cardiovascular illness, diabetes or insulin resistance. Patients with a high cholesterol count plus any of these additional risk factors should seek medical advice.
If You Already Have Heart Disease
Patients with a personal history of cardiovascular disease such as angina pectoris, a previous myocardial infarction (heart attack), coronary angioplasty or heart bypass surgery should seek medical advice to keep their total cholesterol level below about 190 mg/dL (5mmol/l) or their LDL below 100 mg/dL (3mmol/l).