Are my cholesterol numbers unsafe?

I just got my cholesterol results in. I’m 29 years old, 5’10" 200 lbs, very fit. I have a very low body fat percentage even though my BMI is high. I strength train as a novice. My total cholesterol is 160 with ldl at 95 and hdl at 32. My triglycerides came in at 167 however I did not fast and had had 2 meals prior to my test. Please advise.

3 comments

  • Cholesterol levels and overall mortality

    Before looking at the connection between blood cholesterol levels and heart disease, it is worth highlighting a critically important – remarkably unheralded – fact: After the age of 50, the lower your cholesterol level is, the lower your life expectancy.

    Perhaps even more important than this is the fact that a falling cholesterol level sharply increases the risk of dying of anything, including heart disease.

    The dangers of a low cholesterol level were highlighted by a major long-term study of men living in Honolulu: ‘Our data accord with previous findings of increased mortality in elderly people with low serum cholesterol, and show that long-term persistence of low cholesterol concentration actually increases the risk of death.’

    Somewhat ironically, the danger of a falling cholesterol level was first discovered in the Framingham study: ‘There is a direct association between falling cholesterol levels over the first 14 years [of the study] and mortality over the following 18 years.’

    It seems almost unbelievable that warnings about the dangers of a high cholesterol level rain down every day, when the reality is that a low cholesterol level is much more dangerous than a high level. Given this, why would anyone want to lower the cholesterol level? On the face of it, it would make more sense to take cholesterol-raising drugs. Especially after the age of 50.

    Pharmacist who’s life was almost ruined by Lipitor

  • You should have fasted as that brings into question the calculated LDL results. The assumption when using the Friedewald Formula is that no dietary cholesterol chylomicrons should be present. If they are then that throws off the equation used in calculating the LDL from the triglyceride result. It varies based on the amount of dietary fat present in your blood.

    The other modern more recent way is by an actual method of directly measuring the LDL present bypassing the calculated LDL equation.
    The directly measured method is more expensive and thus not as prevalent. There are clinical situations in which it is considered more accurate. In the future the direct measurement is more convenient as it would bypass the fasting requirement. It would then necessitate a new reference range for a non-fasting triglyceride level. That has already been studied.

    Your LDL goal is dependent on the number of clinical risk factors that you have.

  • Redo the whole panel after fasting.