High cholesterol: Now there will be no fear of the 'silent killer'

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High cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease, has been working silently till now, but now it has been exposed. Yes, for the first time, India has got guidelines for lipid control.

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Cholesterol is a silent killer that can have a profound impact on your heart health. Until now, Indians suffering from high cholesterol did not have any specific guidelines to control it. But now the wait is over. For the first time, India has got an important weapon to fight high cholesterol - 'New Guidelines for Lipid Management'. These guidelines have not only been made keeping in mind the diet and lifestyle of Indians, but they will also help doctors in treating patients better.

Till now Indian cardiologists were following the guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology of 2019, but now for the first time, Indian guidelines have been prepared for the control of high cholesterol or dyslipidemia in India. The 22-member committee of the Cardiological Society of India (CSI) issued these guidelines on 4 July.

How to know your lipid profile?

Total cholesterol (lipid profile) is measured through a blood test. A health worker usually takes a small sample of blood from a vein in your arm. This sample is then analyzed in a lab to determine the total cholesterol level, which includes a portion of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and triglycerides. According to new guidelines, the minimum cholesterol level should be less than 100 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter).

The burden of high cholesterol in India

High cholesterol levels are quite common across the country, but the problem is particularly prevalent in urban areas. Given the high rate of heart disease in India and the highest premature mortality rate due to CVD in the world, doctors have issued these lipid guidelines. According to the CSI study, people living in almost all states of India, except Rajasthan, Gujarat, Telangana, and Manipur, were found to have low levels of HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol). While high LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels were found to be highest in the northern region, Kerala and Goa.

Guidelines for Controlling Cholesterol in India

The new guidelines recommend postprandial lipid measurements for risk estimation and treatment, rather than the traditional empty stomach measurements. Doctors say that a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates is a major cause of blockages compared to fat intake.