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07 Feb 2006

My mom (age 79) has been told that she has low cholestrol. I know high cholestrol is bad but is there anything we should worry about with low cholestrol?
Answer 389 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Honey,

No, most people would give a fortune to be told their cholesterol is low.

Having said that, I must ask:
1. Was this a laboratory measurement or a pharmacy fingerprick? This is relevant because pharmacy fingerprick tests do not usually give a breakdown of the total
2. Which cholesterol is low? Is it the total, the LDL cholesterol, or the HDL cholesterol? This is relevant, because if the total is low, but it is all made up of “bad” LDL, then that is not good. If her total is normal, but she has too little HDL then that is also not good. You can see why a fingerprick test is simply inadequate.

The picture which is best is the following: a normal total cholesterol, in which the HDL is = or more than 1.0, and a low LDL. If your Mom is not overweight and otherwise well and has these readings, then there is no cause for concern.

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