Low density lipoprotein risk factors

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Vendhan Ramanujam M.B.B.S [2]


Risk factors for high LDL include genetic predisposition, aging, and unhealthy life style choices.

Risk Factors for High LDL

Common Risk Factors

Common risk factors for elevated LDL concentration include:

  • Genetic predisposition and family: The genetic predisposition to elevated LDL most probably involves a polygenic mechanism and a variable penetrance.[1]
  • Aging: Men who are 45 years or older and women who are 55 years or older are at increased risk of having high LDL levels.[2][3]
  • Life style choices:[6]
    • A diet high in trans fat and saturated fat
    • Physical inactivity
    • Smoking (especially in diabetics)
    • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Overweight or obesity[7]
  • Puberty: Puberty can predispose to both increase in LDL level and LDL particle size.[10][11]

Less Common Risk Factors


  1. Talmud, PJ.; Shah, S.; Whittall, R.; Futema, M.; Howard, P.; Cooper, JA.; Harrison, SC.; Li, K.; Drenos, F. (2013). "Use of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol gene score to distinguish patients with polygenic and monogenic familial hypercholesterolaemia: a case-control study". Lancet. 381 (9874): 1293–301. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)62127-8. PMID 23433573. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  2. Félix-Redondo, FJ.; Grau, M.; Fernández-Bergés, D. (2013). "Cholesterol and cardiovascular disease in the elderly. Facts and gaps". Aging Dis. 4 (3): 154–69. PMID 23730531. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  3. Parini, P.; Angelin, B.; Rudling, M. (1999). "Cholesterol and lipoprotein metabolism in aging: reversal of hypercholesterolemia by growth hormone treatment in old rats". Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 19 (4): 832–9. PMID 10195906. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  4. Lee, JS.; Hayashi, K.; Mishra, G.; Yasui, T.; Kubota, T.; Mizunuma, H. (2013). "Independent association between age at natural menopause and hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus: Japan nurses' health study". J Atheroscler Thromb. 20 (2): 161–9. PMID 23079582. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  5. Honjo, H.; Tanaka, K.; Urabe, M.; Naitoh, K.; Ogino, Y.; Yamamoto, T.; Okada, H. "Menopause and hyperlipidemia: pravastatin lowers lipid levels without decreasing endogenous estrogens". Clin Ther. 14 (5): 699–707. PMID 1345259.
  6. Magnussen, CG.; Thomson, R.; Cleland, VJ.; Ukoumunne, OC.; Dwyer, T.; Venn, A. (2011). "Factors affecting the stability of blood lipid and lipoprotein levels from youth to adulthood: evidence from the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health Study". Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 165 (1): 68–76. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.246. PMID 21199983. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  7. Kesaniemi, YA.; Grundy, SM. "Increased low density lipoprotein production associated with obesity". Arteriosclerosis. 3 (2): 170–7. PMID 6838434.
  8. Harris, MI. (2008). "Hypercholesterolemia in diabetes and glucose intolerance in the U.S. population". Indian J Clin Biochem. 23 (3): 209–17. doi:10.1007/s12291-008-0048-9. PMID 2310575. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  9. Emet, T.; Ustüner, I.; Güven, SG.; Balık, G.; Ural, UM.; Tekin, YB.; Sentürk, S.; Sahin, FK.; Avşar, AF. (2013). "Plasma lipids and lipoproteins during pregnancy and related pregnancy outcomes". Arch Gynecol Obstet. 288 (1): 49–55. doi:10.1007/s00404-013-2750-y. PMID 23400357. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  10. Kaitosaari, T.; Simell, O.; Viikari, J.; Raitakari, O.; Siltala, M.; Hakanen, M.; Leino, A.; Jokinen, E.; Rönnemaa, T. (2009). "Tracking and determinants of LDL particle size in healthy children from 7 to 11 years of age: the STRIP Study". Eur J Pediatr. 168 (5): 531–9. doi:10.1007/s00431-008-0780-4. PMID 18604555. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  11. Chen, TJ.; Ji, CY.; Hu, YH. (2009). "Genetic and environmental influences on serum lipids and the effects of puberty: a Chinese twin study". Acta Paediatr. 98 (6): 1029–36. doi:10.1111/j.1651-2227.2009.01257.x. PMID 19292833. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  12. Rao, P.; Reddy, GC.; Kanagasabapathy, AS. "Malnutrition-inflammation-atherosclerosis syndrome in Chronic Kidney disease".

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