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Low density lipoprotein (LDL) - description and reference ranges

What is it?

Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is also known as "bad cholesterol".

LDL cholesterol makes up most of the cholesterol in your body and a high level of LDL cholesterol increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes. The aim of cholesterol treatment is to lower levels of LDL cholesterol. The job of lipoproteins is to deliver cholesterol to the cells where it’s needed. If there is too much LDL in the blood, cholesterol can fur up the blood vessel walls, clogging them up

Reference ranges

If your indicative HDL level is lower than the reference range for our laboratory:

Lower LDL cholesterol is generally better than higher LDL cholesterol, but in rare cases having a very low level of LDL, or very low level of total cholesterol has been associated with some health problems.

Doctors are still trying to find out more about the connection between low LDL/total cholesterol and health risks. There is no consensus on how to define very low LDL cholesterol.

Speak to you GP if you are concerned.

If your indicative LDL level is higher than the reference range for our laboratory:

Your doctor can use this figure, in conjunction with your other cholesterol results and a range of other elements of your medical history, to calculate your risk of heart attacks and strokes and determine whether or not you need treatment for your cholesterol levels.

A multitude of variables play a part in your cholesterol levels, generally adding up to a higher than need be level. Normally, a raise in your cholesterol levels will raise your risk of heart disease too, so lowering your cholesterol will lower your risk of heart disease.

What causes high cholesterol: diet of excessive saturated fat, smoking, alcohol, lack of exercise or physical activity, some genetic conditions as well as hereditary factors.

Please discuss this result with your GP.

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