A short primer on lipids from Quest Diagnostics:
Cholesterol and triglyceride tests are blood tests that measure the total amount of fatty substances (cholesterol and triglycerides) in the blood.
Cholesterol travels through the blood attached to a protein. This cholesterol-protein package is called a lipoprotein. Lipoprotein analysis (lipoprotein profile or lipid profile) measures blood levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
* Cholesterol. The body uses cholesterol to help build cells and produce hormones. Too much cholesterol in the blood can build up along the inside of the artery walls, forming what is known as plaque. Large amounts of plaque increase your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
* HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol helps remove fat from the body by binding with it in the bloodstream and carrying it back to the liver for disposal. It is sometimes called "good" cholesterol. A high level of HDL cholesterol may lower your chances of developing heart disease or stroke.
* LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol carries mostly fat and only a small amount of protein from the liver to other parts of the body. It is sometimes called "bad cholesterol." A high LDL cholesterol level may increase your chances of developing heart disease.
* VLDL: (very low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol contains very little protein. The main purpose of VLDL is to distribute the triglyceride produced by your liver. A high VLDL cholesterol level can cause the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries and increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
* Triglycerides are a type of fat the body uses to store energy. Only small amounts are found in the blood. Having a high triglyceride level along with a high LDL cholesterol may increase your chances of having heart disease more than having only a high LDL cholesterol level.
Some medical experts recommend routine cholesterol and triglyceride testing to screen for problems that affect the way cholesterol is produced, used, carried in the blood, or disposed of by the body. Others may choose to routinely measure only total cholesterol and HDL levels.
Since I just had my lipids done also I'll post them later for comparison. I think Jay and I are somewhere close in age so it may be relevant.
"Lack of sleep makes cowards of us all."