LDL (low density lipoprotein)= bad cholesterol. It supports the cell membranes in our bodies. When the body senses that there is cholesterol in the blood, it is released into the bloodstream to locate and transport cholesterol throughout the body. It is referred to as "bad cholesterol" because it causes blockages. High LDL levels put you at greater risk for a heart attack from a blood clot.

HDL (high density lipoprotein)= good cholesterol. It scrubs the inner walls clean of any bad cholesterol. It is referred to as "good cholesterol" because it removes bad cholesterol from where it doesn't belong. High LDL levels reduce the risk for heart disease, but low levels increase the risk.

How do they structure and function differently?

LDL --> cholesterol= 50%, protein= 25%, less dense, carries B-100 proteins

HDL --> cholesterol= 20%, protein= 50%, more dense, carries A-I & A-II proteins

A persons' LDL & HDL concentrations are monitored in order to evaluate their health status and to determine if the patient is at risk for heart disease.

How are the concentrations of LDL and HDL associated with the risk for heart disease and associated disorders?

When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it builds up on the walls of arteries, causing a form of heart disease called atherosclerosis. The blood flow gets slowed down which can cause chest pain. If the blood flow is completely blocked, it can cause a heart attack. Higher the LDL= higher risk of heart disease; Higher the HDL= lower risk of heart disease.

What other molecules are monitored with LDL & HDL???


-Low density lipoproteins

-High density lipoproteins

Cholesterol test results

When getting the results back you receive...

-total blood cholesterol level

-LDL cholesterol level

-HDL cholesterol level

-triglyceride level

OVERALL, it informs the patient on their risk for heart disease.


Total Blood Cholesterol Level

  • High risk: 240 mg/dL and above
  • Borderline high risk: 200-239 mg/dL
  • Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dL

LDL Cholesterol Level

  • Very high risk: 190 mg/dL and above
  • High risk: 160-189 mg/dL
  • Borderline high risk: 130-159 mg/dL
  • Near optimal: 100-129 mg/dL
  • Optimal: Less than 100 mg/dL

HDL Cholesterol Level

  • High risk: Less than 40 mg/dL (for men)
  • High risk: Less than 50 mg/dL (for women)
  • Desirable: 60 mg/dL and above

Triglyceride Level

  • Very high risk: 500 mg/dL and above
  • High risk: 200-499 mg/dL
  • Borderline high risk: 150-199 mg/dL
  • Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL

What can people do to change the levels of LDL & HDL in their blood?

-Change their diet to where it is low in sodium and saturated fats and more of fruits and vegetables. Saturated fats raise your LDL (bad cholesterol). Also, avoid trans fat because it causes an increase in heart attacks due to it sticking on blood vessels.

-Physical activity (exercise 30 min. a day for 5 days a week)

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