Low HDL, but also low everything else, and no risk factors
I got back my cholesterol results today
Total = 101
Trig = less than 50
HDL = 21
LDL = too low for computer to calculate
I understand that low HDL is an independent risk factor for CAD, but with numbers these low, should I be worried? I should mention that I am 38 yr old male, with normal blood pressure, no family history of CAD, non smoker, BMI = 24, no other risk factors that I know of
A high blood cholesterol level increases your risk of coronary artery disease. Lower cholesterol is usually better — but not always.
Some research suggests that low levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol may be associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancer. Other studies associate a low total cholesterol level with depression and anxiety, perhaps because low cholesterol may reduce levels of the brain chemical serotonin.
Although the upper limits for total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol have been clearly established, the lower limits depend on the individual.
Thanks. But my real question here is about the HDL. At 21, should I be running to an ER or doctor because I am at risk of heart attack? Its got me very worried and since its the weekend, no doctor for a few days...
When a patient is described as having "primary hypocholesterolemia," it means that he has a disorder whose main effect is low cholesterol. One type of primary hypocholesterolemia is Tangier disease. It is a genetic disorder characterized by a low or absent HDL cholesterol level and a low total cholesterol level. A second type is familial hypobetalipoproteinemia, a genetic disorder characterized by a low total cholesterol level, low LDL cholesterol level, normal HDL cholesterol level and low triglyceride level. Another type is abetalipoproteinemia, which is a genetic disorder characterized by a low total cholesterol level and low triglyceride level. Each of these disorders is rare.
When a patient is described as having "secondary hypocholesterolemia," it means that he has another disorder and that, as a consequence of that disorder, his cholesterol level is low. Common examples of secondary hypocholesterolemia include hyperthyroidism, various liver diseases and malnutrition.
If your blood cholesterol level is low, discuss the possible reasons with your physician. They may conduct testing to rule out a primary or secondary undiagnosed disorder.
I don't think I would run to the ER, but I would discuss finding the underlying issue that is causing your low cholesterol levels. For what it's worth, I've seen lower numbers in healthy people so I don't think it is necessary to panic by any means.
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