Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Does Having an LDL 160 or Higher Affect My Treatment?


I don't have coronary heart disease or diabetes. My LDL - known as the bad cholesterol - is 160 mg/dL or higher. I have only one or no other risk factors of heart disease.

Likely Treatment: If you're a man age 35 or younger or a woman who hasn't gone through menopause, your doctor will likely recommend that you make changes to your lifestyle. These are called Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, or TLC, in the May 2001 National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines. TLC includes regular physical activity and a healthy diet. You will need to follow a diet that is low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. If you are overweight, you will need to lose weight. If your level is 190 mg/dL or higher and these efforts do not improve your cholesterol levels within a few months, then your doctor may suggest medicine as well.

If you're a man older than age 35 or if you're a woman who has gone through menopause, your risk for heart disease is higher. Your doctor will probably recommend TLC, such as dietary changes and increased exercise. If your level remains high and these efforts do not improve your cholesterol levels within a few months, then your doctor may suggest medicine as well.


More to Explore