Non-HDL cholesterol – what does this parameter mean in the lipid profile?

The results of the lipidogram test include not only the determination of total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides. There is also a fairly new parameter there: non-HDL cholesterol. What does this indicator mean?

  1. What is non-HDL cholesterol?

  2. Why is non-HDL cholesterol testing done?

  3. What are the standards for non-HDL cholesterol?

  4. What does a non-HDL cholesterol result mean?

Blood cholesterol testing is a basic and preventive test. On the other hand, the lipid profile, or lipid profile, is a test that allows you to measure the level of cholesterol and its fractions (LDL, HDL) and the level of triglycerides in the blood. Based on these results, the body’s fat balance is assessed – the condition of the circulatory system depends on it. To make this task easier for the doctor, another indicator is calculated in the laboratory: non-HDL cholesterol. What is he talking about?

What is non-HDL cholesterol?

In other words, non-HDL cholesterol is non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol. It is a parameter calculated from the difference in the concentration of total cholesterol (TC) and HDL:

Non-HDL cholesterol shows the level of all these lipid particles that are involved in the atherosclerotic process and can be deposited in the atherosclerotic plaque (because it is not just LDL). It gives a more detailed understanding of the risk of developing atherosclerosis than the LDL level alone.

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Why is non-HDL cholesterol testing done?

Non-HDL cholesterol testing is performed to assess the risk of coronary heart disease. This parameter is normally calculated with each cholesterol test. A particular indication for cholesterol testing is the presence of risk factors for heart disease. Non-HDL cholesterol tests should be performed when:

  • a family history of heart disease
  • being overweight or obese
  • hypertension
  • diabetes.

An indication for the determination of non-HDL cholesterol is also the observation of symptoms of ischemic heart disease: chest pain, choking feeling, numbness in the hands, dizziness, palpitations or nausea.

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What are the standards for non-HDL cholesterol?

There is no single range of standards for non-HDL cholesterol. Interpretation of the results must take into account the presence of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, the most important of which are: age (over 45 years in men and 55 years in women), hypertension, smoking, diabetes, family history of heart disease, low HDL cholesterol level. .

The optimal concentration of non-HDL cholesterol should be 30 mg / dL higher than the corresponding LDL cholesterol level:

  • optimal in people with unstable coronary artery disease or after myocardial infarction: non-HDL below 130 mg / dl (3.37 mmol / l)
  • desirable on an empty stomach in people with stable coronary artery disease or diabetes: non-HDL below 145 mg / dl (3.8 mmol / l
  • desirable postprandial: non-HDL less than 150 mg / dl (3.9 mmol / l)
  • in people with moderate risk of coronary heart disease (at least 2 risk factors): non-HDL below 160 mg / dl (4.14 mmol / l)
  • in people at low risk of coronary heart disease (one or no risk factor): non-HDL-C below 190 mg / dl (4.91 mmol / l)
  • high: non-HDL-C 190-219 mg / dL (4.9-5.7 mmol / L)
  • very high: non-HDL-C over 220 mg / dL (5.7 mmol / L)

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What does a non-HDL cholesterol result mean?

Elevated levels of non-HDL cholesterol may indicate an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

Until recently, the most important parameter that indicated the risk of heart disease was LDL cholesterol. Research shows that non-HDL cholesterol is an equally important risk factor for heart disease, as this parameter reflects not only the level of the so-called bad cholesterol (LDL), but also other compounds that influence the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. They are: very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), intermediate density lipoproteins (IDL) and lipoproteins (A).

Testing non-HDL is important especially for people who have normal LDL but still may be at risk of developing atherosclerosis. It is also useful in patients with elevated triglyceride levels where LDL has been difficult to measure. So non-HDL cholesterol seems to be a much better indicator than LDL cholesterol.

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The above advice cannot replace a visit to a specialist. Remember that in case of any health problems, consult a doctor.

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About Peter Wilson

In love with technology, with an eye towards smartphones, he does not disdain any activity linked to the Nerd world. TV series, movies, manga, anime, and comics (Marvel addicted) are the order of the day.

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