Cholesterol and Chronic Kidney Disease

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in your blood. Your body can make cholesterol as well as get it from eating meats and other animal food products.

Why is cholesterol important?

Too much cholesterol can build up in your blood vessels. This build up can narrow vessels and lead to a blockage, preventing blood from getting to a certain area of your body. When this occurs in your heart vessels, it is called coronary heart disease and can cause a heart attack.

In people with chronic kidney disease (CKD), heart disease is very common. It is suggested that people with CKD have cholesterol labs drawn at least yearly. Your doctor may want to do them more frequently if something has changed with your health.

What tests are used to measure cholesterol?

Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, is the primary cholesterol test used to screen for heart disease. Other lab tests usually drawn are high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, also known as good cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol.

Since these tests are affected by food, it is recommended that you should not eat nine to 12 hours before the lab tests are drawn.

Cholesterol lab values are different for adults and children. The lab ranges stated below are for adults and should not be used for children. People with good LDL cholesterol, high HDL cholesterol, and normal triglycerides are less likely to have heart disease.

LDL Cholesterol
HDL Cholesterol
Total Cholesterol
Optimal<100 mg/dL≥60mg/dL F

≥55mg/dL M


<200mg dl


<150mg dl

Near Optimal100-129mg/dL
Borderline High130-159mg/dL200-239mg/dL150-199mg/dL
Very High≥190mg/dL≥500mg/dL

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