What is LDL cholesterol?
LDL-cholesterol is a lipoprotein that is also usually called the "bad" cholesterol. LDL stands for low density lipoprotein. A lipoprotein is a type of capsule that helps transport cholesterol from the liver out into the body. LDL receptors in the body's cells take up LDL particles and then pass the cholesterol on for use where it is needed.
A combination with many LDL particles and few HDL particles in the blood is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, it is important to have a good balance between these. A good balance of HDL and LDL means that the HDL cholesterol can prevent excess LDL cholesterol from getting stuck in the blood vessel walls by collecting the LDL cholesterol so that it can instead be taken to the liver where it is burned.
What can a high LDL cholesterol value mean?
An elevated cholesterol level often occurs through a combination of lifestyle and heredity, for approximately 5% of those with an elevated cholesterol level, however, it is pronounced as a hereditary disease known as familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).
High LDL cholesterol can be seen in hyperlipidemia (familial hypercholesterolemia, familial dyslipoproteinemia), in kidney disease, liver disease and hypothyroidism (lack of thyroid hormone).
Low HDL values and high LDL values are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease