HDL cholesterol levels

HDL cholesterol is a high-density lipoprotein, commonly known as "good cholesterol" because it is responsible for the storage and excretion of cholesterol, which has been linked to a lower risk of heart attack or stroke.

HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) is a lipoprotein of the chylomicron group whose functions are to transport lipids such as phospholipids, triglycerides or cholesterol. It differs from other lipoproteins such as LDL by its higher density, due to having a greater amount of proteins in its composition.

The main function of HDL is the transport of cholesterol from peripheral tissues to the liver, playing a role in lipid biodistribution. It is commonly known as "good cholesterol" due to its anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its uptake and return to the liver of cholesterol stored in the foam cells of atherosclerotic plaques. It thus reduces plaque size and its associated inflammation, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, a precursor of myocardial infarction, transient ischemic attack and stroke.

It is well established that elevated HDL levels (>40 mg/dL) are associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and are thought to play a role in predicting cardiovascular risk.

HDL cholesterol levels can vary for different reasons. Genetic factor is among the factors influencing the levels of this lipoprotein. Compared to genetically determined abnormalities of HDL metabolism, low HDL-C levels occur much more frequently in patients with metabolic syndrome or diabetes mellitus. Low HDL-C levels are also associated with systemic inflammation, e.g., smoking, chronic inflammatory diseases or chronic kidney disease (Fig. 3) [45, 46]. In cases of extremely low HDL-C, a rare diagnosis, e.g., neoplasia or an increased risk of sepsis, may be considered.

Some established HDL cholesterol levels based on their relationship to cardiovascular disease risk are mentioned below:

  • Less than 40 mg/dL in men = low HDL (increased risk).
  • Less than 50 mg/dL in women = low HDL (higher risk)
  • 40 to 59 mg/dL = Higher is better
  • 60 mg/dL and above = high HDL (lower risk)

Number of observed variants

13.5 million variants

Number of loci analyzed

143 loci

Genes analyzed

ABCA1 ABCA8 ACAA2 ADAM10 ADH5 ANGPTL4 ANGPTL8 ANKRD55 AOC1 APOA1 APOB APOC2 APOC4 APOE ARL15 ATG7 ATXN2 BACE1 BUD13 CCDC12 CDK2AP1 CEBPG CETP CITED2 CMIP CPNE4 CPS1 CSF1 DGAT2 DPEP3 DR1 F2 FOLH1 FPR1 GALNT2 GIMAP6 GPAM GPIHBP1 GRB14 HCAR2 HERPUD1 HNF4A IKZF1 INHBE IRS1 ISG20L2 KDF1 KLF14 KLHL8 LACTB LCAT LILRA5 LILRB5 LIPC LIPG LPA LPL MADD MAP3K1 MARCHF8 MPHOSPH9 MTARC1 MYO1F NAP1L5 NIPSNAP3B NLRC5 NR1I2 OR4C15 PABPC4 PCCB PCNX3 PDE3A PGS1 PMAIP1 PPP1R3B PSKH1 PSRC1 RAC1 RBM5 RBPJ REEP3 RFLNA RIMBP3C RPGRIP1L RPS6KA1 RSPO3 SCARB1 SLC18A1 SLC39A8 SNX13 SOX7 SPDEF ST3GAL4 STAB1 TBL2 TCAP TECTB TEX35 TMEM258 TOMM40 TRIB1 TRPS1 TTC39B UBASH3B UBE3B VEGFA WDR76 ZBTB42 ZNF335 ZNF648 ZNF664 ZPR1

Bibliography

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