Dyslipidaemia or high cholesterol problem remains a significant problem in Malaysia. In 2015, it is estimated about 47% of the adult population having high cholesterol issue. Dyslipidaemia does not cause any physical symptoms but are associated with complications such as heart attack and stroke.
Dyslipidaemia has been well established as a significant cardiovascular risk factor. Primary hypercholesterolaemia is associated with an underlying genetic cause such as familial cause or more commonly, by the interaction of several genetic risk factors and lifestyle factors such as poor diet, smoking and inactivity. Secondary causes of dyslipidaemia includes hypothyroidsm, pregnancy, kidney disorders (nephrotic syndrome), Cushing's syndrome, alcoholism, steroid medication, liver disease, insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus.
Management of dyslipidaemia include change of lifestyle by adhering to a healthy diet, regular exercise, avoidance of tobacco smoking, alcohol restriction and maintenance of an ideal weight. A diet high in fibre, fruits and vegetable, wholegrain, low in salt and saturated/trans-fat from animal by-products (such as red meat) can also reduce cardiovascular risk.
Regular exercise can reduce level of bad cholesterol (triglyceride) and improve good cholesterol (HDL- C) level. Recommended duration of exercise for healthy adults regardless of age is at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity. Lipid modifying medication such as statin can help to reduce level of bad cholesterol (LDL-C). Side-effects include muscle ache with weakness and abnormal liver function. Other medication that can be use for treatment of dyslipidaemia are fenofibrate and omega 3.
If you have not had your cholesterol check recently, talk to our doctor on the test and treatment available to manage high cholesterol level.