How Is Lipidemia Diagnosed?
All patients over 20 years of age should have an assessment for risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Those with an elevated risk of having a CVD event in the next 10 years, statistically, prompt a decision to treat.
As a risk group for cardiovascular disease, any dyslipidemia is determined by lipid profiles from diabetic patients to determine their relative risk for developing complications of cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease and neurological stroke.
Besides determinations of their glycemic control via glucose measurements, periodic lipid tests are done that assess total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, non-HDL cholesterol (Total Cholesterol minus HDL-C), and triglycerides.
The values determined by testing lipids in a lipid profile usually measures the following:
- Total cholesterol (normal < 200)
- cholesterol (levels > 130 raise the risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular complications)
- HDL cholesterol (levels > 60 lower the risk of cardiovascular complications)
Alternately, HDL-C levels < 60 raise the risk of cardiovascular complications
- Non-HDL cholesterol (total cholesterol minus HDL-C; normal is <160)
- Triglycerides (another type of fat, should have a level <150; >150 raises the risk of cardiovascular disease
Elevations, especially in LDL-C and triglycerides, and/or low HDL-C, create high risk for cardiovascular events and such patients are evaluated/treated for other risk factors such as hypertension, glycemic control, peripheral artery disease, and other warning signals. The diabetic patient at higher risk due to dyslipidemia is evaluated like any high-risk cardiovascular patient, with EKGs, echocardiogram, and stress testing.