Recommended Cholesterol Levels

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Dr. Ted Feldman, Medical Director of Prevention and Community Health with Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, says total cholesterol is the LDL, HDL and triglycerides all put it together: “We’re less concerned these days about total cholesterol, because it is driven by the good cholesterol, it has much less significance and risk than if the high number is driven by bad cholesterol”.

He explains you ideally should have LDL (bad cholesterol) less than 100, because the single most important factor that determines your ultimate risk of developing coronary heart disease is your LDL levels.

Transcript
Now we have a graphic to show you some cholesterol levels, in case you sometimes get these numbers because a lot of us you know pick up the numbers we look at it and we go what does this mean, so walk us through this, what’s good, bad?. > Sure well the total cholesterol is again the LDL HDL and triglycerides all put into a big pie, and we’re less concerned these days about total cholesterol, because of total cholesterol is driven by the good cholesterol, it has much less significance and risk than if the high number is driven by bad cholesterol, so you want your LDL ideally less than 100, used to be 130, but now we’re driving that down, the single most important factor that determines your ultimate risk of development coronary heart disease, is your LDL levels and if you have any evidence of coronary heart disease the single most important factor to prevent you from having complications from that, is the dietary and drug therapy to bring your LDL cholesterol very low, the HDL story is a little bit more complicated, it’s clear that the higher the HDL you have at birth, the lower your risk in an inverse in an inverse relationship, so the higher the LDL the lower the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, the lower the HDL the higher the incidence, but it’s very hard to manipulate HDL with medicine, and the single most important fact that to raise HDL effectively is exercise, we talked about how high levels of HDL are often associated in in runners and in marathon runners and the like, and the other way is since cigarette smoking lowers HDL if you’re a smoker you can clearly reduce your risk dramatically by not only preventing the direct toxic effects of cigarettes on the arteries, but also getting the secondary benefit of raising your HDL and that does seem to be protective, and then triglycerides are kind of interesting, triglycerides alone in the setting of normal LDL and HDL, don’t seem to increase your risk for heart disease, but since 80% of people with high triglycerides have either low Ella low HDL or high LDL s, then having high triglycerides with any one of those two dramatically increases your risk.
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