Programs that examine the type and level of fatty substances in the blood as an early indication of coronary heart disease. Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all body's cells. It is an important part of a healthy body because it is used to form cell membranes, some hormones and is needed for other functions. Cholesterol and other fats cannot dissolve in the blood. They have to be transported to and from the cells by special carriers called lipoproteins including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). High levels of LDL cholesterol can build up in the walls of the arteries that feed the heart and the brain and form plaque, a thick hard substance that can clog the arteries. HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries back to the liver where it is passed from the body. Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body. They are also present in blood plasma and, in association with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids.
Taxonomy Code: LF-4900.1550