Lipid Profile – An Overview

A lipid profile is typically a part of cardiac risk assessment process that helps diagnose whether you are exposed to the risk of heart diseases. Once done, the test results are analyzed to see the intensity of risk and then plan a course of treatment to curb it.

An important constituent of the cells, lipids are a cluster of fats or fat-like substances that serve as a source of energy. Monitoring and maintaining a healthy level of lipids is imperative for well-being.

If you have been noticing symptoms related to cardiovascular risks such as pain in the chest, neck, shoulder, upper back or lower abdominal, your doctor will most likely suggest you to get a lipid profile test done.

The test describes the following elements:

  • Total Cholesterol – It measures cholesterol in all the lipoprotein particles.
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) – It maps the cholesterol in HDL particles, which is also known as “good cholesterol” as it removes extra cholesterol from the body.
  • Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) – It charts the cholesterol in LDL particles which is also called “bad cholesterol” as it deposits extra cholesterol in the blood vessel walls that aid to atherosclerosis.
  • Triglycerides – It measures the presence of triglycerides in all the lipoprotein particles.

Each of these elements has their own specific range, deviation from which can expose you to the risk of developing heart-related diseases. It is highly recommended that adults with no other risk factors for cardiac disease must be tested with fasting lipid profile once in every 4-6 months to keep a track of the cholesterol level and other essential elements in the body. On the other hand, if other risk factors are present or you have a high cholesterol level, it is vital to get a lipid profile done more frequently. Some risk factors that can cause cardiac related risks involve:

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Age factor – above the age of 45 in males and 50-55 in females
  • High Blood pressure
  • Family History of premature cardiac disease
  • Diabetes
  • Low HDL Cholesterol – less than 40mg/dL

In the case of children, routine lipid profile is recommended once between the ages of 9 to 11 and then 17 to 21. Frequent lipid profile is recommended for children who are at an increased risk of developing heart-related diseases. Some risk factors are as follows:

  • Family History of premature cardiac disease
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Obesity

A lipid profile may also be suggested to map the success of lipid-lowering lifestyle changes including exercise and diet or to measure the effectiveness of drugs given to curb the problem.

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