Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDLC)
Why this test?
- To assess the probability of atherosclerosis and heart problems (this is the most important indicator of the risk of developing coronary disease).
- To control the effectiveness of a diet with a reduced amount of animal fats.
- To monitor the level of lipids after the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs.
In what cases is it prescribed?
- LDL analysis is usually included in the lipidogram, which also includes the determination of total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides, and the atherogenicity ratio. A lipidogram can be prescribed during scheduled preventive examinations or when the concentration of total cholesterol increases, in order to find out the exact fraction due to which it is increased.
- In general, a lipidogram is recommended for all people over the age of 20 at least once every 5 years, but in some cases even more often (several times a year).
- First, if the patient is offered a diet with a restriction of animal fat intake and / or takes cholesterol-lowering drugs, then it is checked whether he reaches the target level of LDL and total cholesterol values and, accordingly, his risk of cardiovascular events is reduced diseases And, secondly, if one or more risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases are present in the patient's life: smoking, a certain age (men over 45, women over 55), high blood pressure (from 140/90 mm Hg), high cholesterol or cardiovascular diseases in family members (heart attack or stroke in a close male relative younger than 55 or female younger than 65), coronary heart disease, transferred heart attack or stroke, diabetes, excess body weight, alcohol abuse, eating a lot of food containing animal fats, low physical activity.
- If the child in the family had cases of high cholesterol or heart disease at a young age, it is recommended to take a lipidogram for the first time at the age of 2 to 10 years.
Cholesterol (Cholesterol) is a fat-like substance vital to the body.
The correct scientific name for this substance is ""cholesterol"" (the ending -ol indicates that it belongs to alcohols), however, the name ""cholesterol"", which we will use later in this article, has become widespread in the mass literature. Cholesterol is formed in the liver, and also enters the body with food, mainly meat and dairy products. Cholesterol is involved in the formation of cell membranes of all organs and tissues of the body.
Hormones are formed on the basis of cholesterol, which participate in the growth, development of the body and the implementation of the function of reproduction. Bile acids are formed from it, thanks to which fats are absorbed in the intestines.
Cholesterol does not dissolve in water, therefore, to move around the body, it is ""packaged"" in a protein shell consisting of special proteins - apolipoproteins.
The resulting complex (cholesterol + apolipoprotein) is called a lipoprotein. Several types of lipoproteins circulate in the blood, differing in the proportions of the component composition: very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Low-density lipoproteins are the main carriers of cholesterol in the body.
Cholesterol, which is included in their composition, is considered ""harmful"", since its excess increases the risk of the appearance of plaques in the arteries, which can lead to their blockage and cause a heart attack or stroke. If a person has a hereditary predisposition to high cholesterol or eats too much fatty food, the level of cholesterol in the blood can rise, so that its excess will not be completely removed by high-density lipoproteins. It begins to be deposited in the walls of blood vessels in the form of plaques, which can limit the movement of blood through the vessel, and also make the vessels more rigid (atherosclerosis), which significantly increases the risk of heart diseases (ischemic disease, heart attack) and stroke.
High values of HDL cholesterol reduce the risk of developing plaques in blood vessels, as they contribute to the removal of excess cholesterol from the body.
A decrease in HDL cholesterol, even with a normal level of total cholesterol and its fractions, leads to the progression of atherosclerosis.