Low-density lipoprotein

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Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is one of the five major groups of lipoproteins, which in order of size, largest to smallest, are chylomicrons, VLDL, IDL, LDL and HDL, that enable lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides to be transported within the water-based bloodstream. Blood tests typically report LDL-C, the amount of cholesterol contained in LDL. In clinical context, mathematically calculated estimates of LDL-C are commonly used to estimate how much low density lipoproteins are driving progression of atherosclerosis. Direct LDL measurements are also available and better reveal individual issues but are less often promoted or done due to slightly higher costs and being available from only a couple of laboratories in the United States. In 28 March 2008, as part of a joint consensus statement by the ADA and ACC, direct LDL particle measurement by NMR was recognized as superior for assessing individual risk of cardiovascular events.[1] Since current theory holds that higher levels of LDL particles promote health problems and cardiovascular disease, they are often called the bad cholesterol particles, (as opposed to HDL particles, which are frequently referred to as good cholesterol or healthy cholesterol particles).[2]

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