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Extremely High HDL levels
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Extremely High HDL levels

I just received my cholesterol test results, and my HDL levels are extremely high. The verified by repeat analysis, and I am wondering what this means. I know that HDL are the good cholesterols, but I was wondering if they should be this high.

Cholesterol, Total    208 H  mg/dL       (100-199) normal range
Triglycerides      101 mg/dL                 (0-149)
HDL Cholesterol     106 H  mg/dL        (40-59)
Tags: high, hdl, levels
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19 Comments Post a Comment
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367994_tn?1304957193
Very high levels of HDL cholesterol has also been reported to be atherogenic (production of fatty degeneration in arteries).  It can be primary ( familial ) just as high cholesterol can be hereditary and cause can be unknown or it can be secondary due to environmental factors or medication, etc.

Reuters Health
Monday, February 4, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Although HDL cholesterol is typically thought of as 'good' cholesterol, new data from a large study suggests that at very high levels, it may actually increase the risk of coronary artery disease.

...If  HDL is over 60, it may not actually confer the protective effect on your heart that previously thought it would!  

Do you have a family history of heart disease?  Are you on medication?  
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Avatar_n_tn
We have no family history of heart disease. I am on Premarin, Lamictal, and Synthroid.
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367252_tn?1204401191
Wow, sorry about your problem, mme6103, but I was glad to find out that I'm not a complete mutant. I posted a question yesterday about extraordinarily high HDL and suspected there might some cause for further investigation espite my doc's insistence that I should be happy because I am something like an HDL champion. My numbers are as follows:

Cholesterol Total     278
TG                         151
HDL                       149

My blood pressure is also quite high (it was up to 186/116 last summer before I got on to the 3 medications for it which I am now taking).  I don't have other of the standard risk factors. My doc seems to think that since the ratio is good I shouldn't worry about the High Total and what seems to be an unheard of high level HDL.  I should mention that I have had symptoms and some ambiguous lab results which appear to indicate I have SLE (lupus).

My research has shown there can be such a thing as pro-inflammatory HDL which can increase coronary heart disease but  my doc has dismissed this research  as "speculative"  and therefore nothing to worry about. Is it? Is there anything I can refer him to or resources you know of out there which might help? When I go to those cholesterol level risk calculator sites they won't even let me enter an HDL level over 100...arghh!
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Avatar_f_tn
What was your LDL? the bad cholesterol?
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432888_tn?1204076151
Wow, I would take your high number over my too low number any day! Your HDL/LDL ratio is what matters most, so I would not be too terribly concerned. Plus the more HDL you have the better your arteries stay clean. Are you a runner or exercise regularly? They usually have very high HDL numbers.
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Avatar_f_tn
In addition to fairly rare genetic mutations in cholesterol transport proteins, there are 4 main causes of hyper-alphalipoproteinemia (HDL-Cholesterol > 80 mg/dl).  

1)  Alcohol raises HDL and this is one of the reasons that moderate alcohol consumers have reduced rates of cardiovascular disease. Alcoholism and excessive drinking can raise levels above 100 by changing liver function.  If you drink excessively (reallly- way over the recommended 1-2 drinks a day), then this is likely the cause.  

2) Exhaustive aerobic exercise will raise HDL.  I don't mean walking fast- I mean working out hard at least a few times a week.  Unlike alcohol (which can skyrocket your HDL), I am not aware of HDL going above 100 from exercise alone.  

3) High intake of niacin aka nicotinic acid, a B vitamin will raise HDL levels up to 30%.  

4) Long-term low carbohydrate ketogenic (example Atkins) dieting.  These diets have been shown to raise HDL by about 10% a year.  Although there is a paucity of data on the long-term effects, most case studies indicate that HDL continues to increase the longer the diet is followed.  

My overall sense as a PhD nutritionist working in research for over 20 years, is that even a very high HDL is probably good news (if you want to live  really long I mean).   But, because there are so few people with these types of numbers, we really don't know.  
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907968_tn?1292625804
Exorcise has to be exhaustive to raise your HDL?  Bummer :-(  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi

I just did mya nnual check and again my HDL is extremely high 130.
It is high every year, and I start beişng worried. Dr says he never saw such a thing b4, but I should no worry...yeah well, he never saw it b4 and should I not worry?

My HDL is 230
LDL 61
Total colestherol 188

should I worry or not? can it be also linked to liver problems?

Rgds,
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi

I just did mya nnual check and again my HDL is extremely high 130.
It is high every year, and I start beişng worried. Dr says he never saw such a thing b4, but I should no worry...yeah well, he never saw it b4 and should I not worry?

My HDL is 230
LDL 61
Total colestherol 188

should I worry or not? can it be also linked to liver problems?

Rgds,
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159619_tn?1318997813
Normally, high HDL is a good thing and yours being high is not necessarily a problem. Much depends on the make up of the HDL-C particles. HDL particles break down into either small or large particles. The larger the particle, the more of a risk high HDL becomes. Larger particles tend to be less effective when binding with LDL and can also help cause plaque to build up. In addition, particle size may be an indicator of a genetic issue which also has metabolic components that may cause high HDL to be a predictor of increased risk of CAD.

Having said that, this usually pertains to individuals with levels of HDL around 150 plus. It sounds much more complicated than it really is. I would retest an a few months and see what the numbers look like, discuss it with your doctor and decide if more testing or treatments need to be done. Your doctor may want to start treatment, but you should discuss it with him.

Hope this helps,

Jon
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976897_tn?1379171202
This thread is confusing me to hell here. How does someone have much higher levels of HDL over LDL and be alive????
This would seem to contradict everything I have read about cholesterol which is that HDL is basically a police force, tagging the LDL to go to prison (Liver). However, I have also read that without LDL we cannot live. When HDL is much higher than LDL, how is there any active LDL left for cell regeneration, multiplication, hormone production, vitamin production and brain function?
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159619_tn?1318997813
This has much to do with HDL-C particle size. In cases of extremely elevated HDL, the breakdown usually has more of the large size particles which are less likely to bind with LDL leaving serum levels normal or high.I agree, it floored me the first time I read it as well and had to do a little more research.

Jon
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Avatar_f_tn
i just came from my 'new' Dr whom did a VAP Cholesterol test - 1st one I have ever had done and said my HDL is too high and that is what is causing my LDL to have a problem and needed to get it down.  She said no meds are available and that to FAST do not do the 4-5 small meals a day but 3 meals a day and NO eatting after 8 pm and exercise more!
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976897_tn?1379171202
Did you only have sips of water for 12 hours before your cholesterol test?

I'm having mine done in 10 days time, should be interesting. I hate the fasting.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm reading this post and comments with great interest.  I have high HDL - 154.  Total Cholesterol 229. Trigylcerides 40. LDL 67.  My numbers have been consistent "good" and the HDL continues to rise.  I'm also 49 years old and have severe osteoporosis and have discovered a study that shows a correlation between the two.  Does anyone posting here with high HDL have osteoporosis too?  I am shocked to hear that there are other health risks with high HDL...all my doctors, specialist, etc. are impressed with my numbers and think they are good.  Should I be worried?  How can I lower my HDL?  Are there some underlying diseases that may be causing this to go up?
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Avatar_f_tn
I too have a high HDL = 119, LDL = 78 & total cholesterol is 235.  After reading many posts, everyone now has me scared!!  I have no health problems, exercise vigorously almost daily, and feel fantastic.  I share your age SKIJEM.  
No one seemed to mention genetics, which can contribute to your high HDL.  The males in my family have had heart attacks, so I'm just chalking this up as finally inheriting something good.
I say we rejoice with our high HDL numbers & show the world how they should live :)
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976897_tn?1379171202
Exercise will raise HDL anyway because after you burn the instant fast activating energy (carbs etc) then you will have to resort to fat.
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Avatar_m_tn
My doc is similarly unsure as to whether high HDL at 118 is a worry or not.  LDL is in great shape, but I do take Simvastatin.  HDL has risen slowly after last few years and I am cutting medication (per doc) in half to 20mg/day to see what occurs.  He is working in the dark, but since LDL is managed, this does sound reasonable.
It would be nice for folks to post studies or articles as this seems to be an odd (or at least relatively new) discussion regarding HDL.
As to the person regarding a link between Osteoperosis and high HDL, I am interested in that information as I have pervasive OA. Possibly similar?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hyperalphalipoproteinemia or HALP is defined as having an HDL level above 82 mg per deciliter.

Some articles like this one indicates that can be dangerous:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/126930-causes-high-hdl/#ixzz2EsLl1FSg

Others indicate that there is not much a problem:
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/121187-overview

And serious ones says that in some cases can be dangerous:
http://atvb.ahajournals.org/content/24/3/526.full.pdf

So as you can see there is not a clear answer. My sister have it and her doctor is trying to bring the HDL down.

Jesus
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Avatar_m_tn
I really wish they would get their facts straight on this. With a total cholesterol of 230, HDL-100, LDL 121 and triglycerides 62, I have a great ratio of TC/HDL (2.3) but I'm still told I need to improve my cholesterol. I'm a vegetarian - yes, I eat cheese and I drink, but I'm a doing a hell of a lot better than the average American diet, and I exercise, live in NYC so walk a lot, etc. Short of becoming vegan, which I'd rather die of heart disease in a second than do, there's not much more I can do to be healthy and still a normal human being with a life. After reading this thread, I'm either dying of a rare hereditary disease, perfectly healthy, amazingly healthy, or probably an alcoholic. Figure out cholesterol docs, and stop putting people on meds haphazardly.
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Avatar_f_tn
I also have high HDL.  My HDL is always over 135.  I am now a vegan because I get terrible shooting pains in my chest and also up the left side of my neck and down my right arm whenever I eat meat, cheese, chocolate, and nuts.  It happens within two hours of eating such items.  The pain goes away with a baby aspirin.  

Whenever I add any of these back to my diet, the pains come back.  I am 45 years old and have had this for the last twenty years.  Until the doctors catch up, I recommend listening to your body and making the changes that make your body feel good.  

I assume that somewhere in my genetics was a vegan group that didn't eat many nuts and therefore the body created a system of increasing HDL accordingly.  

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Avatar_f_tn
oops -- I typed "right arm" but it should be "left arm"
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Avatar_f_tn
Could they get an LDL reading on you?  When I had mine done they said they couldn't get the LDL reading due to elevated HDL
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Avatar_f_tn
Could they get an LDL reading on you?  When I had mine done they said they couldn't get the LDL reading due to elevated HDL
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Avatar_m_tn
After reading this thread I am a bit concerned. My Total Cholesterol is 138, Tryiglyceriedes 83, HDL 90, LDL 34. I have been told these numbers were great. However, based on some of the comments in this thread it appears that the high HDL might be a problem. Any thoughts on these numbers?
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