Ask the Doctor
Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
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.
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.
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.
|Optimal <100mg/dL||>60mg/dL F >55mg/dL M||Desirable <200mg/dL||Normal <150mg/dL|
*Values below 40 mg/dL are considered low for HDL.
Aside from high LDL cholesterol levels, the risk for heart disease increases with the following risk factors:
People with CKD may have some added risk factors that lead to heart disease:
People who are physically inactive or who eat foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol are also at risk for developing heart disease.
Medications are available for lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, but heart disease medications work the best when diet and life style changes have already been made.
A dietitian can help you in making healthy food changes to your diet.
American Journal of Kidney Diseases, Vol 41, No 4, Suppl 3 (April), 2003: pp S1-S91.
National Institutes of Health, National Cholesterol Education Program Publication No. 01-3670, May 2001.
Journal of Renal Nutrition, Vol 8, No 3 (July), 1998: pp 160-161.
More than 26 million American adults and thousands of American children have chronic kidney disease. Most do not know they have this condition. Further, millions of people with diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases do not realize they are at risk for developing kidney disease. The National Kidney Foundation, a major voluntary health organization, seeks to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation. Through its offices nationwide, the NKF provides early detection screenings and other vital patient and community services, conducts extensive public and professional education on kidney disease and organ donation, advocates for patients through legislative action, and supports kidney research to identify new treatments.
The National Kidney Foundation would like to thank the
Council on Renal Nutrition for the development of this fact sheet.
If you would like more information, please contact us.
©2013 National Kidney Foundation. All rights reserved. This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. No one associated with the National Kidney Foundation will answer medical questions via e-mail. Please consult a physician for specific treatment recommendations.