Which conditions are associated with high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)?

Updated: Aug 05, 2019
  • Author: Fazia Mir, MD; Chief Editor: Eric B Staros, MD  more...
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LDL-C is one of the major culprits in the development of atherosclerotic heart disease.

Goal LDL (to prevent atherosclerotic plaque formation) is between 50-70 mg/dL. A higher value confers increasing risk for the development of coronary artery disease and needs to be remedied. This is based on The Framingham Heart Study, which was the first study to reveal a positive association between total cholesterol and coronary artery disease (CAD). [2]

Achieving the LDL value of less than 100mg/dL is especially important in patients who have other risk factors that will accelerate the development of CAD. These risk factors are cigarette smoking, hypertension, low HDL, and a family history of CAD.

In examining information from over 4200 adults with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), as culled from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) database, Vega and Grundy found what they described as a probable association between increased statin use and decreased levels of LDL-C. According to the study, between 1999-2000 and 2013-2014, LDL-C levels in the cohort fell by 24%, while the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs increased from 37% in 1999-2000 to 69% in 2015-2016. [3]

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