Dyslipidemia means an abnormal amount of lipids, or fats, in the blood. Lipids are essential to life, but an excess of certain lipids can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.
The lipids that are commonly measured in blood include various forms of cholesterol, as well as triglycerides. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the “good cholesterol,” and higher levels reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the “bad cholesterol,” linked to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. High triglycerides are also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
In dyslipidemia, the level of one or more of these lipids is abnormal (either too high or too low). Increased activity and a healthy diet should be the first course of treatment for dyslipidemia. If you are at risk for heart attack or stroke, and diet and exercise fail to bring high lipid levels into the healthy range, your doctor may recommend taking a lipid-lowering medicine.
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