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"I'm 22 and just got my biometric screening at work. Am I at a high risk?"
'm 22 and just got my biometric screening at work. I'm a female, 4'8" and weigh about 112. My total cholesterol rating is 3.3 Cholesterol-260 HDL- 78 LDL-167 Triglycerides- 78 Blood Glucose- 76 and blood pressure- 110/64. Heart disease runs in my family and I'm really worried about my LDL. Am I at a high risk?
Thank you for your question about your biometric screening. I recommend that you speak with your primary care doctor about this issue. An HDL value, or "good cholesterol" over 40 is ideal and you are in a great range. HDL is protective and has been linked to reducing heart and blood vessel disease. It is also reassuring that you do not have high blood pressure. LDL is the "bad cholesterol" and high levels have been linked to heart disease. It is generally recommended that LDL be less than 130 for those with no other coronary risk factors. That is why it is important to visit your doctor who can take a look at your comprehensive health and other risk factors that you may have which could further lower your recommended threshold level for ideal LDL. These negative risk factors include smoking and diabetes. There are calculators that have been developed to estimate a person's risk for future heart disease. A common one that is used is the Adult Treatment Panel III Calculator. With your information, given that you do not smoke, you have a less than 1% chance of having a heart attack in 10 years. There is also a newer risk calculator which was developed by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association which factors in other variables such as race. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will need statin therapy at this time. However, it is certainly worth starting with dietary modifications to further lower your cholesterol levels. You should speak with your primary care physician about your personal risk factors, especially if you have family members with premature heart disease (for example, immediate family with heart attacks younger than 45 years old).
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