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What is lipid profile? The lipid profile is a blood test done to assess the status of fat metabolism in the body and is important in heart disease. This includes measuring lipids (fats) and its derivatives known as lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are compounds containing fat and proteins and include free cholesterol, cholesterol esters, triglycerides, phospholipids and apoproteins. Which biochemical markers are used? The blood is analysed by the laboratory to determine the levels of: Total cholesterol Triglycerides HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol Serum VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) cholesterol Total cholesterol comprises all the cholesterol found in various lipoproteins such as high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). A total cholesterol test is a rough measure of all the cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Triglycerides are neutral fats found in the tissue and blood. Triglycerides containing lipoproteins may also contribute to the disorders related to coronary heart disease. Persons with high triglycerides often have other conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, that also increase the chances of developing heart disease. The main function of HDL is to help soak up excess cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels and carry it to the liver, where it breaks down and is removed from the body in the bile. It is thus called good cholesterol as persons with high levels of HDL may have a lower incidence of heart disease. LDL contains the greatest percentage of cholesterol and is responsible for cholesterol deposits on the walls of the artery resulting in coronary artery disease. LDL is thus known as the bad cholesterol. VLDL stands for very low density lipoprotein. VLDL contains the highest amount of triglyceride. VLDL is considered a type of bad cholesterol, because it helps cholesterol build up on the walls of arteries. Normal VLDL cholesterol level is between 5 and 40 mg/dL. The cholesterol/HDL ratio is derived by dividing the total cholesterol by the HDL. This ratio helps in assessing the risk of heart disease in individuals. What are the desirable lipid profile values? Lipid profile values can be evaluated from the table below: Adult values Cholesterol Triglycerides HDL-cholesterol LDL-cholesterol Desirable <200 mg/dl <150 mg/dl 60 mg/dl 60-130 mg/dl Borderline 200-239 mg/dl 150-199 mg/dl 35-45 mg/dl 130-159 mg/dl High risk 240 mg/dl 200-499 mg/dl <35 mg/dl 160-189 mg/dl





What preparations are required? The patient needs to be fasting for 1214 hours before drawing the sample. He should also be on his normal diet pattern. Intake of alcohol on the previous night should be avoided. This fasting lipid profile may be helpful, in that the panel results will be free of the presence of chlyomicrons in the blood. What are the factors that affect lipid profile? Factors that affect an individuals lipid profile include: Age Sex Body weight Alcohol and tobacco use Exercise Genetic factors Medications Chronic disorders such as hypothyroidism, obstructive liver disease, diabetes, and kidney disease