Cholesterol Level Chart by Age: Cholesterol is a class of certain organic molecules which are known as lipids. It is synthesised by all animal cells and plant cells. It is a precursor for the synthesis of Vitamin D in your body which is essential for the strength of your bones. It is also an important part of a number of steroid hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone and all the sex hormones.
Cholesterol is not excreted completely by your body and at least 50% of it is reabsorbed in your small intestine. Cholesterol levels can rise in your body because of various reasons which can lead to the development of various conditions in the patient.
Cholesterol levels are hard to manage as it is produced by your body and it is present in most of the food items that you take. High cholesterol can be inherited from your family members and it needs lifelong medications in order to prevent complications. High cholesterol can be treated by various medications and lifestyle changes.
Cholesterol is a wax-like fatty substance that is produced in your liver. It is produced in your body to aid in the production of many hormones, in the digestion of fats and in the synthesis of Vitamin D. Its levels can rise in your body due to various reasons which can lead to the deposition of cholesterol in your arteries.
This deposition tends to narrow the arteries making it hard for your blood to flow through them. This can lead to various complications, the most common of them being heart attack, stroke and inability to perform physical activity. Cholesterol in itself is not life threatening but it can lead to the onset of various life threatening conditions. It is essential for everyone to keep their cholesterol levels in normal ranges in order to avoid these complications.
The article given below contains all the information regarding Cholesterol, its types, its normal levels in children and adults, symptoms of high cholesterol, its causes, how to treat high cholesterol and how to manage it.
Types of Cholesterol
Cholesterol travels through your body by binding to lipoproteins. There are two main types of lipoproteins which are found in your body which are given below.
- High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)- This is also known as Good Cholesterol in common words. It binds up with excess cholesterol present in your body and takes it back to your liver for excretion. Excessive amounts of HDL can significantly minimise your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL)- This is also known as Bad Cholesterol in common words. It binds up with Cholesterol in your body and binds with the walls of your arteries leading to the formation of plaques on your arterial walls. This narrows your arteries and prevents proper blood flow. This can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke if it is not controlled.
You should manage your cholesterol and your lipoprotein levels in order to prevent any complications. A lipid profile is also conducted which tells the level of triglycerides in your body which can also lead to the risk of heart disease.
Normal Cholesterol Levels for Adults
Cholesterol Levels are measured in using a lipid profile which measures the levels of High Density Lipoprotein, Low Density Lipoprotein and Triglycerides. Its normal values are given below in the table.
|High||More than 240||More than 60||More than 160||More than 200|
|Low||N/A||Less than 40 for men and Less than 50 for women||N/A||N/A|
The levels of Cholesterol are usually same for men and women however women should have higher amounts of HDL than men.
Normal Cholesterol Levels for Children
Currently, Cholesterol levels have also been increasing in young children due to the prevalence of junk food. This has provided many difficulties in the growth and development of children. You can check out the normal and dangerous levels of cholesterol in children in the table given below.
|Ideal||<170||>45||<110||<75 in children between 0-9 years of age and <90 in children between 10-19 years of age|
|Borderline||170-199||40-45||110-129||75-90 in children between 0-9 years of age and 90-129 in children between 10-19 years of age|
|High||More than 200||N/A||More than 130||>100 in children between 0-9 years of age and >130 in children between 10-19 years of age|
|Low||N/A||Less than 40||N/A||N/A|
Symptoms of High Cholesterol
High Cholesterol does not have any symptoms in the patient and it can only be diagnosed with the help of a blood test. However patients can get a blood test of the experience of any of the symptoms given below.
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Inability to perform physical activity
- Uncontrolled weight gain
- Inability to stand for long periods of time
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure
- Sudden changes in your mood
- Cravings for certain foods such as salty and sweet foods
- Family history of high cholesterol
Causes of High Cholesterol
High Cholesterol can occur due to various lifestyle and genetic modifications in the life of the person. This can lead to increased risk of the individual to heart diseases and stroke. The following causes can lead to an increased amount of cholesterol in your body.
- Unhealthy Diet- An unhealthy diet is the most common cause of high cholesterol in humans. Taking too many saturated fats and trans fats in your diet can lead to an increased amount of cholesterol in your blood.
- Medications- Certain medications for conditions can also increase the levels of cholesterol in your body. These medications can be for High blood Pressure, HIV, Organ Transplant and cancer.
- Obesity- Obesity is the most common cause of increased cholesterol in your blood. Obesity can occur due to an unhealthy diet which can further increase the levels of cholesterol in your blood. This can also put you at the risk of developing various heart diseases and strokes.
- Lack of Physical activity- A lack of physical activity combined with an unhealthy diet can also lead to an increase in your cholesterol levels. This occurs because your body will not be able to use the ingested fat. Exercise also helps your body to produce more HDL which will help to control the amount of Cholesterol in your body.
- Smoking- Smoking can also lead to an increase in the amount of cholesterol in your body as nicotine binds with HDL thus lowering the amount of HDL in your blood.
- Alcohol- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can also increase the levels of cholesterol in your blood by lowering the levels of HDL in your blood.
- Age- High cholesterol levels can occur in children but it is more commonly seen in people over the age of 40 years. Age can reduce the ability of the liver to remove LDL from your body.
- Certain conditions- Certain medical conditions can also increase the level of cholesterol in your body. This can include HIV, Cancer, Kidney disorders and metabolic disorders.
Treatment of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol can be treated with various medications which work to increase the levels of HDL in your blood and lowers the levels of LDL. The following medications are used more commonly for the treatment of high cholesterol.
- Statins- These are used most commonly for the treatment of High cholesterol. It works by reducing the activity of the liver which produces cholesterol. This medication lowers the amount of LDL in your blood.
- Niacin or Nicotinic Acid- Niacin is a part of the Vitamin B complex and it improves the levels of HDL in your blood. It also lowers your total cholesterol levels, LDL levels and Triglyceride levels.
- Bile Acid Sequestrants- This medication removes bile acids from your bloodstream. Since bile acids are essential for digestion, your body will produce more amounts of bile acids by breaking down LDL from your blood thus lowering its levels. This also lowers the total Cholesterol levels in your body.
- Fibrates- These medications work by lowering the production of triglycerides in your body by lowering their production from your liver. This can also help in lowering the levels of LDL by promoting their removal through your liver.
- Cholesterol Absorption inhibitors- This medication prevents the absorption of cholesterol from your small intestine so that your cholesterol levels can go down. This is often used in conjunction with Statins.
- Bempedoic acid- This works on your liver and prevents an enzyme, ATP citrate lyase, from producing cholesterol. This medication is used in genetic cases of high cholesterol and are often used in conjunction with Statins.
- PCSK9 inhibitors- This is an injected medication which is also used in cases of genetic high cholesterol. It works by increasing the absorption of LDL by your liver thus lowering its concentration in your blood.
Lifestyle Remedies for High Cholesterol
Many lifestyle changes can prevent the increase of Cholesterol in your body and thus prevent your risk of complications. You can adopt the following practices in order to manage your Cholesterol levels.
- Exercise Regularly- You should start exercising regularly in order to control your cholesterol levels and to maintain your health. This can also improve your cardiovascular health and prevent the risk of heart diseases.
- Limit processed foods- You should avoid eating too much processed foods such as meat and foods with high amounts of salt and sugar.
- Limit Alcohol- You should also limit your alcohol intake as too much alcohol can raise your triglyceride levels which can lead to various heart conditions such as high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation.
- Quit Smoking- Excessive smoking can decrease the levels of HDL in your blood which can in turn increase the levels of Cholesterol in your blood. Hence you should quit smoking as soon as possible in order to avoid any complications.
- Eat healthy diet- Eating a healthy diet which is rich in fibre and healthy fats can improve your heart’s health and your overall health. This can also promote the formation of HDL which can control the levels of CHolesterol in your body.
- Limit Saturated and trans fats- Limit your intake of junk food which are full of saturated fats and Trans fats. These fats tend to increase the levels of LDL in your blood which increases your risk of heart diseases.
- Manage your weight- Maintain a healthy weight so that your body can get rid of excessive amounts of cholesterol. This can help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Get regular checkups- Always get your Cholesterol checked at regular intervals in order to notice any changes. This can help you to monitor your health and cholesterol levels so that you can start preventive measures in time and prevent the complications of High Cholesterol.
FAQs Related to Cholesterol
High cholesterol is a condition in which the levels of LDL and Triglycerides increase too much and they start depositing in the walls of your arteries. It can lead to serious complications such as Coronary artery disease and Stroke if it is not treated in time.
High cholesterol can occur due to a number of reasons. The most common of these being eating too much saturated and trans fats, genetics, age, smoking, drinking too much alcohol and medical conditions such as HIV, Cancer and Kidney diseases.
You can reduce the amount of Cholesterol in your body by taking the appropriate medications. Some of the common medications which are used for the treatment of High Cholesterol are given above.
Yes, you can prevent high Cholesterol by following various preventive measures. This can help you to avoid all the complications associated with high blood pressure so that you can lead a healthy life. Some of the prevention methods are given in the article above which you can adopt in your lifestyle in order to control and manage your cholesterol levels.