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41 PRACTICAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT HYPERTENSION AND HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIA - 2008

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  • LDL-cholesterol is the so called "bad cholesterol", which penetrates the vessel (arterial) wall and thus initiates the atherosclerotic process. The higher the LDL-cholesterol in the blood the more the LDL particles penetrate the vessel wall.
  • In contrast, HDL-cholesterol, the so called "good cholesterol", protects the vascular wall by removing the "bad" LDL cholesterol from the wall and thus retarding the atherosclerotic process.
  • Triglycerides are another form of blood-circulating lipids. They come from food but they can also be synthesized by our own body.
  • Increases in triglycerides levels are attributed both to an impaired metabolism and to an increased intake of animal lipids. Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, increased body weight, alcohol abuse and several drugs may also lead to increased triglycerides levels.
  • The long-term effect of high levels of triglycerides is the development of coronary artery disease (although triglycerides play a less important role than cholesterol in this aspect) as well as of pancreatitis (an acute and severe disease that manifests itself in acute abdominal pain and demands prompt hospitalization). Pancreatitis is mainly observed in patients with very high triglycerides levels (>1000 mg/dl).

WRITING GROUP
G. Stergiou, Chairman
A. Achimastos
E. Andreadis
I. Avramopoulos
M. Elissaf
N. Karatzas
T. Mountokalakis
D. Papadogiannis
K. Siamopoulos
E. Varsamis
K. Vemmos
D. Vlahakos