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Hyperlipoproteinemia – (Hyperlipidemia, Hypercholesterolemia/osis)

This condition covers a wide range of disorders in which the blood contains too much fat. The other names you’ll hear and see for this problem are hyperlipidemia and hyperlipemia, hypercholesterolemia/osis, etc. The body needs lipids (fats) for fuel and structural components, and in the case of cholesterol, as raw material for making hormones and other vital substances. The cause of the hyper-stuff is sometimes an inherited defect. More often the disorder is associated with other generalized diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, or is due to an abnormal diet (or an abnormal response to a normal diet).

Research indicates that a blood cholesterol level of 250 mg per 100 ml (or more) poses an increased risk of coronary artery disease. The average level among American adults is about 200 to 230 mg/100 ml, however about one adult in 20 has levels above 280.

Symptoms: None specific. In one of the hereditary types, (familial hypercholesterolemia, “FH”) an accumulation of lipids form yellowish deposits beneath the skin, particularly around the elbows, finger webs and on the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel.

Risks: High levels of fat are associated with disorders such as arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.

Treatment: Diet, restricting fats and adding polyunsaturated fat (sunflower, soy bean, safflower, corn oil), and the use of more exercise, help to reduce blood fat levels. Both the dietary changes and the exercise appear to cause an increase in high density lipoproteins (HDL) – the good ones – in the blood, and these lipoproteins have been found to be protective against heart disease. Also, a variety of drugs are available to reduce cholesterol.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only, and is provided as a supplement for students enrolled in Meditec’s medical career training courses. The information should NOT be used for actual diagnostic or treatment purposes or in lieu of diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician.