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What is Lipid Profile?

The purpose of blood lipid testing is to determine whether abnormally high or low concentrations of a specific lipid are present. Low levels of cholesterol are associated with liver failure and inherited disorders of cholesterol production. Cholesterol is a primary component of the plaques that form in atherosclerosis and is therefore the major risk factor for the rapid progression of coronary artery disease (CAD). High blood cholesterol may be inherited or result from such other conditions as biliary obstruction, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, and nephrotic syndrome. In addition, cholesterol levels may be increased in persons who eat foods that are rich in saturated fats and cholesterol, and who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Low levels of triglyceride are seen in persons with malnutrition or malabsorption. Increased levels are associated with diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, pancreatitis, glycogen storage diseases, and estrogens. Diets rich in either carbohydrates or fats may cause elevated triglyceride levels in some persons. Although triglycerides are not a component of the plaque associated with atherosclerosis, they increase the viscosity (thickness) of the blood and promote obesity, which can contribute to coronary disease. The majority of cholesterol and triglyceride testing is performed to screen persons at increased risk of coronary artery disease.

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