Elevated cholesterol levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, which can be divided into 3 risk groups based on the increase in value:
- low risk group: the value remains below the normal value (5.2 mmol/l)
- medium risk group: the value is between 5.2 mmol/l and 6.4 mmol/l.
- high risk group: cholesterol level exceeds 6.4 mmol/l.
Triglyceride levels should also be considered in evaluating laboratory findings in this case, as lifestyle changes are particularly important if both are elevated.
High cholesterol can also be caused by unhealthy lifestyle (eating foods rich in saturated fatty acids, lack of exercise), other illnesses (such as diabetes, thyroid problems, or liver disease), and taking certain medications (such as beta-blockers, epinephrine, birth control pills).
Cholesterol levels also rise during pregnancy.
Low cholesterol can also be caused by liver diseases, malnutrition, certain infectious diseases, and hyperthyroidism.