What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a substance that is found in the blood. Everyone has some. It is needed for good health. The problem is, people sometimes have too much cholesterol. Compared with people with normal cholesterol, people with high cholesterol have a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. The higher your cholesterol, the higher your risk of these problems.
Are there different types of cholesterol? Yes, there are a few different types. If you get a cholesterol test, you might hear your doctor or nurse talk about:
●LDL cholesterol – Some people call this the "bad" cholesterol. That's because having high LDL levels raises your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. (This is the one the doctors refer to when they initiate or titrate therapy).
●HDL cholesterol – Some people call this the "good" cholesterol. That's because people with high HDL levels tend to have a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems.
●Triglycerides – Triglycerides are not cholesterol. They are another type of fat. But they often get measured when cholesterol is measured. (Having high triglycerides also seems to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.)
🚨 European LDL Cholesterol Thresholds
Low risk: < 190 mg/dL
Moderate risk: < 155 mg/dL
High risk: < 100 mg/dL
Very high risk: < 70 mg/dL
Super high risk: <55 mg/dL
Doctors look for the LDL goal in each patient to decide initiation or titration of treatment
This is the algorithm for treatment according to European guidelines
Index: SCORE is a cardiovascular risk score, T1DM: Type I diabetes mellitus, T2DM: Type 2 diabetes mellitus, TC: Total cholesterol, FH: Familial cholesterolemia, CKD: Chronic kidney disease; DM: diabetes mellitus, CV: Cardiovascular
Source: François Mach and others, 2019 ESC/EAS Guidelines for the management of dyslipidaemias: lipid modification to reduce cardiovascular risk: The Task Force for the management of dyslipidaemias of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS), European Heart Journal, Volume 41, Issue 1, 1 January 2020, Pages 111–188, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehz455