Hyperlipidemia = high cholesterol and is defined simply as high levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood.
Our liver produces 80% of our body’s cholesterol and the other 20% comes from the food we eat.
Cholesterol is found in food of animal origin, such as egg yolk, poultry, seafood and whole milk dairy products. Food of plant origin contains no cholesterol.
Hyperlipidemia has no signs and no symptoms.
The only way to diagnose is through a blood test. It is recommended those older than 40 to get an annual blood test for lipid levels.
With Hyperlipidemia, your blood report will show that you have high levels of total cholesterol, LDL ( low density lipoprotein ) and TG ( triglyceride ).
This table illustrates the classification of various lipid levels. Individual Risk Factors affects acceptable lipid levels
Measurement mmol/L (mg/dL)
5.2 - 6.1 (200 - 239)
>/= 6.2 (240)
LDL (Bad Cholesterol)
2.6 - 3.3 (100 - 129)
3.4 - 4.0 (130 - 159)
4.1 - 4.8 (160 - 189)
>/= 4.9 (190)
HDL (Good Cholesterol)
1.0 - 1.5 (40 - 59)
>/= 1.6 (60)
1.7 - 2.2 (150 - 100)
2.3 - 4.4 (200 - 399)
>/= 4.5 (400)
Hyperlipedimia Risk factors & Trends
- hypertension and diabetes
- established cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes
- smoking and drinking
- obesity and lack of exercise
- chronic kidney disease or kidney failure
- inherited familial hyperlipidemia
This table shows some levels of LDL that patients from various risk groups should achieve.
Risk group category
LDL Target Levels mmol/L (mg/dL)
Very High Risk Group
High Risk Group
Intermediate Risk Group
Low Risk Group
< 4.1 (160)
Hyperlipidemia’s worrying trend
2017 Data from Ministry of Health Singapore showed that 33% of our adult population in Singapore has hyperlipidemia!
That’s almost 1 in 3 adults!
Dangers of hyperlipidemia
Too much cholesterol in the blood causes a buildup of fatty deposits on the inside walls of the blood vessels. Resulting in blockage of blood vessels, causing blood flow through these blood vessels to decrease.
When this happens in the heart coronary arteries, heart attacks occur. When this happens to the arteries in the brain, the person will suffer a stroke.
Natural remedy to hyperlipidemia
- Choose wholegrain such as brown rice, oats and wholegrain bread and noodles.
- Increase fruits and vegetable intake. Oats, barley, beans and peas are good in reducing cholesterol.
- Cut down seafood and animal produce like meat, skin, fat, innards, milk and milk products.
- Go for lean poultry and fish ( like salmon, sardine, mackerel )
- Choose mono-unsaturated oil for cooking and eating: olive, canola and peanut oil are your top choices.
- Avoid deep fried food.
- Avoid trans-fat : they are margarine, cookies, cake and pastries.
Aim for healthy BMI
Through increased the amount of exercise and physical activity. Control your weight to keep your BMI less than 23. As a general guide - aim for 30 minutes of physical activity a day for 5 days Start slow and gradually build your way up.
Some evidence show that high level of stress can result in higher levels of TG and LDL and can decrease the levels of HDL.
It may be due to higher levels of stress hormone cortisol or that stress can adversely affect the immune system leading to inflammation.
Quit smoking and drinking:
Smoking cessation has clear benefits on overall cardiovascular disease risk and improving HDL. Cutting down on heavy drinking can also reduce your TG levels.
By : Dr Chen Yiming
Family Physician, MBBS (Singapore), GDFM (NUS), GDFP Dermatology (NUS)