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Types of hyperlipidemia

Primary hyperlipidemia is believed to be genetic in origin. Secondary hyperlipidemia is caused by diseases such as diabetes, thyroid, renal or liver disorders, Cushing’s syndrome, as well as obesity, alcohol consumption, and other drug- or hormone-associated metabolic changes. Levels of the components of total cholesterol, particularly LDL and HDL, are considered important predictors of heart disease development. High LDL levels increase the risk for heart disease. Experts consider LDL cholesterol levels under 100 mg/dL as optimal. In contrast, high HDL levels above 40 mg/dL decrease the risk for heart disease. Whether circulating levels of triglycerides influence the risk of a myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke is uncertain. Triglyceride levels above 150 mg/dL are considered abnormal, but high levels do not increase risk for all individuals. High triglyceride levels only appear to increase the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in women when combined with diabetes, hypertension, and smoking. Synonyms of hyperlipidemia include dyslipidemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and hypercholesterolemia.

Types of hyperlipidemia

Review Date: 7/25/2018

Reviewed By: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. 03-25-19: Editorial update.

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