at the University of Illinois

Cholestech LDX

The Cholestech LDX system uses reflectance photometry to measure the amount of TC, HDL, LDL, TRG, non-HDL, and TC/HDL in the blood, also known as a lipid profile.  The lipid profile is a group of tests that can be used to determine the risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke caused by blockage of blood vessels.

This analyzer is certified by the Center for Disease Control’s Cholesterol Reference Method Laboratory Network saying, “These results confirm that accuracy and reproducibility of a point-of-care lipid method is comparable to centralized laboratory testing.” It’s the only CLIA-waived system of its kind that meets all relevant National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines for precision and accuracy. This test is so simple and accurate that the likelihood of erroneous results is negligible.

Total Cholesterol (TC):  Cholesterol helps the body form hormones, vitamin D, and other important nutrients.  However, too much cholesterol in the blood can clog and damage blood vessels.

Desirable: less than 200 mg/dL
Borderline: 200-239 mg/dL
High Risk: over 240 mg/dL

High Density Lipoproteins (HDL): Because cholesterol is a fat-like substance that doesn’t mix with the blood, it has to combine with proteins to form lipoproteins to travel the organs and tissues of the body.  Also called good cholesterol, HDL helps transport cholesterol to the liver where it is removed from the body.

Men: under 40 mg/dL is high risk
Women: under 50 mg/dL is high risk
Protective: greater than 60 mg/dL

Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL):  Also known as “bad cholesterol,” which can build up in the blood and increase your risk of heart disease.

Optimal: less than 100 mg/dL
Above Optimal: 100-129 mg/dL
Borderline High: 130-159 mg/dL
High: 160-189 mg/dL
Very High: above 190 mg/dL

Triglycerides (TRG):  TRG’s store energy for your body to use when needed.  If there is too much, it can block blood vessels and cause other health problems such as abdominal pain and pancreatitis.

Normal: less than 150 mg/dL
BorderlineHigh: 150-199 mg/dL
High: 200-499 mg/dL
Very High: 500 mg/dL

Non-HDL: The sum of your LDL, VLDL, and IDL concentrations (intermediate lipoproteins), which also given by Total Cholesterol minus HDL.  This result is also interpreted by a physician to determine health risks.
High Risk: 160+ mg/dL
Target for diabetes: 130 mg/dL

Other risk factors for hyperlipidemia include:

  • Smoking
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) or currently on blood pressure medication
  • Family history of early heart disease: heart disease in father/brother before age 55; heart disease in mother/sister before age 65
  • Age: men older than 45 and women older than 55

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