Should I Find Out Whether My Cholesterol is Sticky or Dense?


Q: Should I find out whether my cholesterol is sticky or dense?

A: Even though the levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol in your blood may be normal, the type of LDL you have may be more dangerous.

The LDL cholesterol may be stickier than usual, which can lead to more plaque buildup. It may be smaller and denser, which can mean more particles. However, these are advanced parameters that we test for in patients who really need it.

For example, some patients have low LDL levels, but they have a strong family history of cardiovascular disease — a mother or father or sibling who had a heart attack or perhaps died of a heart attack at a young age. These are the kinds of patients who might benefit from analysis of their LDL cholesterol.

For all of us, however, it’s important to know our LDL cholesterol levels.

— Preventive cardiologist Haitham Ahmed, MD, MPH