What is hypercholesterolemia?

Hypercholesterolemia is the medical term for high levels of cholesterol in the blood. According to the American Heart Association, a total cholesterol level at or above 240 is considered a high risk level of suffering a heart attack. A total cholesterol level between 200 and 239 is considered borderline risk. A desirable total cholesterol level is one that is below 200. It is calculated that about two thirds of Americans are borderline.

Your total cholesterol number is not the only figure you should be interested in. High levels of cholesterol, or hypercholesterolemia, is a very important issue, however your “total” number is made up of the good HDL, the bad LDL and also triglycerides.

An optimal cholesterol profile would look something like this:

  • Total Cholesterol: below 190
  • LDL Cholesterol: Below 100
  • HDL Cholesterol: Above 60
  • Triglycerides: Below 150
  • While it is clear that not everybody can reach optimal levels, every effort should be made to get as near as possible to these levels. Remember hypercholesterolemia is a disease that, in most people, can be controlled with lifestyle modifications, and if necessary, drug therapy.

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