LDL cholesterol: what is it and how do you interpret the results?

ldl cholesterol

After a blood test, it is sometimes difficult to understand his results. How to interpret LDL cholesterol? Zoom.

LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, what is it?

Among the lipids that circulate in the blood (that is to say: fats), we find the famous cholesterol, of which 30% comes from the diet. This cholesterol is transported into the bloodstream by lipoproteins: HDL (for High-Density Lipoprotein) and LDL (for Low-Density Lipoprotein).

LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad cholesterol” because LDL lipoproteins transport cholesterol from the liver to the cells and contribute to its accumulation on the arterial walls: this is the starting point of a plaque, atheroma, responsible for many cardiovascular disorders including atherosclerosis.

LDL cholesterol level too low: is it serious?

The cholesterol measurement is performed at each blood test. However, more attention will be given to people who suffer from diabetes, of hypertension, liver failure, or certain genetic diseases still have familial hypercholesterolemia.

It is not possible to have LDL cholesterol “too low”. In addition, the normal values ​​vary according to the cardiovascular risk of each one: one considers that the LDL must be …

less than 1.15 g / L in case of moderate cardiovascular risk ( sedentary lifestyle, smoking …),
less than 1 g / L when at high risk (for example, heart disease or diabetes),
less than 0.7 g / L in case of very high risk (eg severe or morbid obesity)
More generally, LDL cholesterol is considered …

optimal if it is less than 1 g / L,
good between 1 and 1.29 g / L,
limit between 1.3 and 1.59 g / L,
high between 1.6 and 1.89 g / L,
very high above 1.9 g / L.
The higher the cardiovascular risk, the lower the LDL cholesterol threshold.

LDL cholesterol levels too high: what can be the causes?

To know: a high LDL cholesterol level increases the cardiovascular risk ( myocardial infarction or heart attack, stroke or stroke …).

Several factors can cause a rise in LDL cholesterol:

Overweight and obesity (with a body mass index greater than 25 or 30),
Smoking,
Excessive consumption of alcohol (including binge-drinking ),
Some medications (including oral contraceptives and corticosteroids ),
An unbalanced diet (in particular: too rich in red meat, industrial products, saturated fats, and alcohol),
Namely: ” the cholesterol level increases naturally between the age of 30 and the age of 60: every 10 years, it is estimated that it increases by 0.5 mmol per liter of blood”.