Hyperlipidemia, hyperlipoproteinemia, or hyperlipidaemia (British English) is the condition of abnormally elevated levels of any or all lipids and/or lipoproteins in the blood. It is the most common form of dyslipidemia (which also includes any decreased lipid levels).
Lipids (fat-soluble molecules) are transported in a protein capsule, and the size of that capsule, or lipoprotein, determines its density. The lipoprotein density and type of apolipoproteins it contains determines the fate of the particle and its influence on metabolism.
Hyperlipidemias are divided in primary and secondary subtypes. Primary hyperlipidemia is usually due to genetic causes (such as a mutation in a receptor protein), while secondary hyperlipidemia arises due to other underlying causes such as diabetes. Lipid and lipoprotein abnormalities are common in the general population, and are regarded as a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease due to their influence on atherosclerosis. In addition, some forms may predispose to acute pancreatitis.
For treatment of type II, dietary modification is the initial approach but many patients require treatment with statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) to reduce cardiovascular risk. If the triglyceride level is markedly raised, fibrates may be preferable due to their beneficial effects. Combination treatment of statins and fibrates, while highly effective, causes a markedly increased risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis and is therefore only done under close supervision. Other agents commonly added to statins are ezetimibe, niacin and bile acid sequestrants. Dietary supplementation with fish oil is also used to reduce elevated triglycerides, with the greatest effect occurring in patients with the greatest severity. There is some evidence for benefit of plant sterol-containing products and ω3-fatty acids.
Back to top
OUR VASCULAR SURGEONS
Back to top
Make an appointment at one of our Westchester Heart & Vascular locations. For physician information or to find a physician, call (877) WMC-VEIN (877-962-8346).
Go back to Vascular Surgery home page
Go back to Westchester Heart & Vascular home page
Go back to Westchester Medical Center home page