I have struggled with low HDL for a few years since I started getting it checked. I do have some family history of heart disease (grandparents and my father has low HDL 35 for 15 years). I have seen a cardiologist who didn't feel it was needed to do anything with my HDL at this time or to do any tests further than an echo and my bloodwork. My regular GP agreed as well. He said that I am young and healthy. I also have sinus tachy and anxiety.
My questions is I am concerned about the stresses of pregnancy if I might already have early onset of heart disease. I exercise 3days a week, eat right, and am at a good weight. I take fish oil daily. Should I see another doctor for a second opinion. Should I have more tests done or am I worrying about this too much. I know 32 and being pregnant isn't easy on the body without added complications.
These are good questions, but based on what I'm reading I don't think you have much to be worried about. Keep in mind what role HDL plays, it binds with the LDL or bad cholesterol and takes it back to the liver to be eliminated or recycled. Your LDL level is very low and near optimal. The less LDL in your system, the less HDL you need.
The best way to increase HDL is exercise, but only after you have discussed it with your doctor. To have an effect on HDL, you really need between 30 - 60 mins a day at 75% of your max predicted heart rate (220-age) most days of the week. You could ask about niacin, but recent studies may indicate that artificially created HDL is not as effective in removing LDL as naturally occurring HDL.
Again, I think your numbers are fine and if I were you I would trust my doctors about this.
I agree with Erijon. It's all about ratio. If you have a huge amount of LDL then you will require a high level of HDL to keep it balanced. Obviously less LDL requires less HDL. Your ratio is just over 2 to 1 which is fine. For every 2 LDL lipids you have an HDL in there. If the ratio was 4 or 5 to 1, then I would start to get concerned.
As often stated, LDL are the bad guys and HDL are the good guys. You have one policeman to every 2 bad guys. What a nice peaceful society your blood stream is :)
Actually the whole idea about ratio isn't holding up to well from the studies such as the Framingham Heart Study or China Study. High HDL, Low LDL results in just as much coronary disease. The key is to maintain a total cholesterol <150 with and LDL ideally < 80 this will prevent and reverse heart disease. Your numbers look pretty good. Low HDL shouldn't be of worry as long as the total and LDL are low.
I agree to some extent, but since that study it has become clear that fats are not the complete story. The study only looked at one type of LDL, but there are more than one. The clue seems to be in the Triglyceride levels, if these are high, you are then very likely to have high bad LDL which cause Atherosclerosis. If your Trigs are low, but your LDL is high, it's most likely that they are good LDL, too large and light to get trapped in artery fissures. This could explain why many people with very low cholesterol still get heart disease, because it is made up mostly with bad LDL.
I personally don't think they will ever find a cure for existing disease, but I do believe they will find a prevention in the next few years. Intervention with existing disease will still be a necessity but techniques through new technology will probably see this become far easier.
No one in the Framingham Heart Study ever had a cardiovascular event with a total cholesterol less than 150. With cholesterol that low one cannot deposit plaque in their arteries. The small vs. large LDL particles aren't an issue for someone not depositing plaque in their arteries.
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