Diagnosis of Hypercholesterolaemia

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medical history paper

Medical history and physical examination. These points are an essential part of the diagnosis of hypercholesterolaemia and serve to rule out secondary causes.

Blood extraction tube

Complete blood analysis (and urine, in some cases). This is the most important test to determine the cause. It can be used to rule out cases of hypercholesterolaemia due to other diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism or certain kidney or liver conditions. For a correct diagnosis, in addition to the total cholesterol, it is necessary to carry out a complete lipid profile including the amount of triglycerides and the levels of LDL (“bad”) and HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Very high total cholesterol, above 310 mg/dL in adults and 230 mg/dL in children, could be a sign of one of the serious genetic diseases that are also associated with early-onset cardiovascular disease (e.g., familial hypercholesterolaemia) and should therefore be studied in depth.

Other, more complicated diagnostic tests, such as different blood tests or genetic studies, are only conducted in specific cases (when there is a suspicion of a genetic disorder, e.g., familial hypercholesterolaemia) and at specialised centres.

Substantiated information by:

Antonio J. Amor
Daniel Zambón
Emilio Ortega
Gemma Yago
Violeta Moizé

Published: 2 October 2018
Updated: 2 October 2018

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