Cardiovascular risk increases with a higher LDL particle count. With a higher non-HDL lipoprotein count the probability of particle penetration of the arterial wall rises, regardless of the total amount of cholesterol contained in each particle. On average, the typical particle contains 50 percent cholesterol.
More than 30 percent of the population has cholesterol-depleted LDL, a condition in which a patient’s cholesterol may be “normal” but their lipoprotein particle number, and hence their actual risk, could be much higher than expected. This is especially common in patients who have tested high triglycerides or HDL is low. In the population with a cholesterol-depleted LDL, there can be up to a 40 percent error in risk assessment.
Cholesterol testing has historically been used as the standard indicator for cardiovascular disease classified as HDL (good) or LDL (bad). However, it is actually the lipoprotein particles that carry the cholesterol throughout the body, not necessarily the cholesterol within them, that are responsible for key steps in plaque production and the resulting development of cardiovascular disease.
Today in Australia, NutriPATH has advanced technology to separate and quantify all lipoprotein sub-fractions including the ‘large’, less atherogenic LDL-1 and LDL-2 and the ‘small’, highly atherogenic LDL-3 to LDL-7 through test code 4028-Liposcreen. Furthermore, we can now also measure for a direct measurement of the LDL particle number under test code 4034- LDL Particle Number.
- Family history of high cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Smoke cigarettes
- Consume alcohol frequently
- Unhealthy lifestyle
- Inactive lifestyle