If my cholesterol is less than 200mg/dL, within the normal vary, should I be concerned about heart illness?

When 45-year-old Arjun Mishra* went to the emergency room with a heart assault and required a stent, he was disturbed. Just every week in the past, his full physique checkup reviews confirmed that his complete cholesterol was less than 200 mg/dL. But the fact is that optimum cholesterol ranges don’t all the time assure heart well being, as the proportion of unhealthy cholesterol in the blood is nonetheless formation of plaques in the arteries.

“No cholesterol restrict is thought of secure. The commonest mistake folks make is to consider complete cholesterol as an indicator of well being. However, in apply that you must take a look at the particular person elements, particularly the variety of LDL (unhealthy cholesterol), the proportion of HDL (good cholesterol) and the HDL:LDL ratio. Indians have low HDL. They say 50 mg/dL is best for neutralizing LDL, however in Indians the degree by no means exceeds 45 mg/dL. So we should solely deal with LDL ranges and hold them low. In reality, the secure restrict for LDL has come down over the previous three many years and for Indians genetically liable to heart illness, LDL ranges are the solely concern,” says Dr. Balbir Singh, Chair of Cardiology Sciences, Cardiology, Heart, Electrophysiology-Pacemaker, Max Hospital. , Saket.

What is the most secure LDL quantity?

“Internationally, they like LDL beneath 70 mg/dL, however for Indians I would say beneath 50 mg/dL. Heart illness in Indians is compounded by extra danger elements corresponding to household historical past, smoking, stress, hypertension and diabetes. “Many younger Indians are getting stents at an early age,” he says.

Another danger issue is triglycerides. “LDL ranges are related to co-morbidities, excessive triglycerides and physique weight for some folks. Triglycerides are a fats in the blood that, together with cholesterol, trigger plaque formation. Therefore, each triglycerides and LDL ranges should be stored pretty low,” says Dr. Singh.

In reality, the Johns Hopkins suggestions say that LDL can be too extra harmful in ladies than in males. “This is problematic as a result of ladies’s cholesterol ranges fluctuate barely after menopause and improve with age, placing them in danger for heart illness and stroke. “Knowing your cholesterol numbers and methods to management them is a giant step towards staying wholesome,” he mentioned.

“LDL particles like to stay to the partitions of your arteries like cleaning soap scum on pipes. It sticks there, triggers an inflammatory response, and your physique begins to show it into plaque. Plaque in your arteries makes them more durable and narrower, limiting blood move to important organs like the mind and heart muscle, and elevating blood strain. In addition, the clots can break off and result in a heart assault or stroke. And guess what? This accumulation can start in your 20s,” says the Johns Hopkins pointers.

Dr. Singh says India’s pointers are totally different for this very cause. “Very low LDL ranges stop most cardiovascular occasions. In excessive instances, we should work towards a marker of less than 30 mg/dL. And we should begin early therapy with lipid-lowering medicine along with constructive way of life adjustments for these in danger.”

What may be the preventive protocol?

“I have seen many sufferers who’ve normal cholesterol ranges however are at excessive danger for heart illness. This occurs for a lot of causes – they smoke, lead a disturbing life, sedentary way of life, diabetes, hypertension, household historical past of heart illness. In sufferers who sometimes have low cholesterol, we take a look at all of those danger elements collectively after which decide whether or not additional testing is essential. This could embrace a CT scan of the heart, a treadmill check, and a carotid ultrasound. People suppose that as a result of their cholesterol is normal, they don’t seem to be in danger for heart illness. It’s fallacious. It’s a false impression that even people who find themselves match however heavy people who smoke and drinkers should get checked each six months. Those who’re overweight or don’t train commonly are actually in danger. Even if their cholesterol ranges are normal, they should stroll religiously for half-hour, which considerably reduces the danger of heart illness,” says Dr. Manish Bansal, Director, Heart Institute, Medanta Hospital, Gurgaon.

(*Name has been modified to guard id)

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