Key points covered in this article
Introduction Low-Density Lipoprotein
Cholesterol isn’t simply something that sits on your body like fats around your waist. It’s carried through your bloodstream by using carriers made of fats (lipid) and proteins. Those are called – no big surprise – lipoproteins.
LDL cholesterol is known as “bad” cholesterol. Consider it as less desirable or even lousy cholesterol, because it contributes to fatty build-ups in arteries (atherosclerosis). Plaque build-ups narrow arteries and raise the risk for heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease (narrowed arteries in the legs).
What is LDL cholesterol?
LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. Is the “bad” cholesterol. It’s the kind that can raise your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. As you may already understand, LDL cholesterol is often called bad cholesterol because it is able to build up within the walls of your arteries and form plaque, which could narrow and reduce the flow of blood via your arteries (arteries are the blood vessels that deliver blood far from your heart). This plaque build-up can cause a condition called atherosclerosis (ath-uh-roh-skluh-ro-sis) – also referred to as “the hardening of the arteries.”The build-up also can cause risky blood clots and irritation which could reason coronary heart attacks and strokes.
LDL accommodates of 10% triglycerides, 45% cholesterol, 22% phospholipid, and 25% protein. As you can see, cholesterol makes up the majority of LDL. LDL particles average 22 nm in diameter with about 3000 lipid molecules in overall, and they contain about 170 triacylglycerols (a systematic chemical name for triglyceride), 1600 cholesterol esters, and 200 unesterified cholesterol molecules. Esters are nothing but organic compounds in which the hydrogen of the acid is replaced by an alkyl or another organic group. LDL cholesterol is transformed into cholesteryl esters to more efficaciously transport both the dietary and synthesized cholesterol thru the bloodstream. Free cholesterol that is present in the lipoproteins is confined only to the outer surface of the lipoprotein particle. When it is converted into cholesteryl esters, more of it is packed into the interior of the lipoprotein particle. This vastly increases the capacity of lipoproteins to transport cholesterol via the blood.
What are the ideal level – by age and gender?
In 2004, a panel of physicians lowered the “safe” level of LDL cholesterol from 130 to 100 mg/dL and further recommended that people who are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease should aim to lower their LDL levels to 70 mg/dL. LDL cholesterol levels after 9 to 12-hour fasting as per the Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) guidelines are as follows:-
- < 100 mg/ dL – Optimal
- 100-129 mg/dL – Near-optimal
- 130-159 mg/dL – Borderline high
- 160-189 mg/dL – High
- >190 mg/dL – Very high
Heart disease and stroke are a problem for both men and women. In reality, heart disease is the main cause of death for each gender. Your gender plays a part in your chance of heart disease and stroke. Men and premenopausal women have important differences in cholesterol as measured via blood lipid profiles — the levels of LDL, HDL, and triglycerides in the blood. Younger women have a tendency to have lower LDL levels than younger men and, from puberty on, women have a tendency to have higher HDL levels than men. When estrogens production declines after menopause, women’s good levels decrease greatly. Additionally, after the age of 55, women tend to have higher bad levels than men. Each of these modifications increases a woman’s possibilities of heart problems after menopause.
Here are a few gender-specific surprises that men need to recognize about cholesterol and heart disease:-
- Men 45 years or older are at a higher danger. The risk of high cholesterol and heart disease will increase with age, and men over 45 years old are most at risk.
- Younger men need attention, too. Total blood cholesterol levels are closely associated with the risk of heart disease in younger men. Be aware of what you eat, mainly for your choice of oils and fats, watch your weight, and stay physically active. And know your numbers: everybody 20 years and older need to get screened for high cholesterol via a general practitioner.
- Lean men can also be at risk: A study from the American heart association journal circulation indicated that insulin resistance (when the body can no longer correctly use insulin, the hormone responsible for decreasing the body’s levels of the sugar glucose) may also play a greater role within the increased chance of heart disease for younger men. The researchers looked at gender-related changes in insulin resistance in young people and discovered that insulin resistance was greater frequent in men than women, in spite of leaner body types in the males. The insulin resistance became additionally related to a decrease in good cholesterol and an increase in triglycerides.
Here are a few gender-specific surprises that women need to recognize about cholesterol and heart disease:-
- Heart disease is also a female’s disease. The danger of heart disease and stroke is low for younger women but will increase after menopause. Postmenopausal women have as great a risk of heart disease and stroke as do men.
- Early menopause matters. Whether natural or because of a hysterectomy, early menopause increases a woman’s risk of heart disease. The protective effect of estrogens is lost after menopause; early menopause means that a woman has fewer years of protection against cardiovascular disease. LDL cholesterol increases around the time of menopause.
- Hormone remedy might not protect. Despite the fact that the jury continues to be out at the long-time period effects of the drugs, postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with estrogens alone or a combination of estrogens and progestin does not appear to offer protection against heart disease, according to the National Institutes of health. Some recent studies suggest that HRT actually increases the risk of heart disease.
This topic stays controversial:
some other studies suggest a reduced risk of heart disease for women who start HRT in their early menopausal years. Taking this all together, the American heart association recommends that HRT now not be prescribed for the purpose of heart protection.
- Pregnancy has exceptional rules. Dr. Lee notes that pregnant women once in a while have increased levels of cholesterol, but they may not have any long-time period effects. And cholesterol is essential for the developing fetus — it’s needed for stabilization of cell membranes, bile production, and brain function, amongst other functions.
- Ask your doctor about your risks for heart disease. Some doctors might not focus on heart disease risk with woman patients as much as their male counterparts, even though cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S., just as it is for men.
LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or the “bad” cholesterol, are lipoproteins that carry cholesterol via the veins and arteries of the body. But high levels of LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol, can also get worse the narrowing of the blood vessels within the body, which puts you at a more risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular diseases, a number of which can be life-threatening.
But even when you have numerous risk factors, there is a first-rate deal that you could do to lessen your chances of developing heart disease, like by maintaining the healthy weight, regular exercise, consuming healthy food, stop smoking or by means of limiting alcohol consumption.
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may be needed if attempts to address rising lipid levels via lifestyle aren’t operating. However, more often than not physicians would now not start with statins before trying to make changes in lifestyle like following a healthier weight loss plan and increasing workout.
Healthcare professionals should advise women with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus about their potential CVD risk, and should not give priority only on treating hyperglycemia and diabetes-related symptoms. Clinicians should also take into account specific gender-related conditions, particularly those capable of influencing CVD risk, with the aim of personalizing their therapeutic actions.