HDL and LDL

By: Sarah Ebert

Why do doctors monitor concentrations of LDL and HDL in patients' blood?

One of the reasons doctors monitor the concentration of LDL and HDL is to help avoid heart complications like heart disease. They monitor the LDL level to make sure it doesn't build up and block blood vessels (WebMD).

What other molecules are monitored in a patient's blood?

LDL and HDL are not the only things monitored in blood. Triglycerides are monitored as well (WebMD).

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

LDL can build up under vessel lining. This build up is called plaque. The plaque that's built up in the blood vessels will cause the vessels to narrow. The more narrow the blood vessels become, the harder it is for blood to flow through to the heart. This can cause heart disease and other disorders (Mayo Clinic).
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What can patients do to change LDL and HDL levels?

Eating a healthy diet is always a good place to start when you want to change levels of HDL and LDL. Exercising regularly and avoid smoking will help too. Sometimes medication may be required to help change levels of LDL and HDL depending on the severity (CDC)

Sources

Centers for disease control and prevention. (n.d.). Cholesterol. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/what_you_can_do.htm

WebMD. (n.d.). Cholesterol & triglycerdes health center. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/ldl-cholesterol-the-bad-cholesterol