Blood test

Low LDL cholesterol level in the blood

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Low LDL cholesterol level in the blood

What is low LDL cholesterol level in the blood called?

  • LDL hypocholesterolemia

What is the normal LDL cholesterol level in the blood?

If you need to know which are the LDL cholesterol reference ranges or you require more information about the role of LDL cholesterol in the blood you can visit: Normal LDL cholesterol level in the blood

What does a low LDL cholesterol level in the blood mean?

In general, a low LDL cholesterol level, also known as the “Bad” cholesterol, is positive because the risk to suffer a cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke) is low.

Under medication, it is possible to reduce the LDL cholesterol to 20 mg/dl with no side effects.

However, it is necessary to have a certain amount of LDL cholesterol for a proper functioning of the body. A low LDL cholesterol level in the blood is related to depression and anxiety. If LDL cholesterol is low during pregnancy, it is more probably a preterm birth or a low birth weight infant.

LDL Cholesterol values are usually given in mg/dl but sometimes you can see those values in mmol/l following the International System of Units (SI). In case your values are in mmol/l you can convert them using this tool:

mmol/l
  • Moderate LDL hypocholesterolemia (10 - 25 mg/dL in adults):

    LDL cholesterol levels are a bit low.

    If you are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, maybe you should cut down on the dose, if your doctor considers it appropriate. Cholesterol-lowering drugs may have side effects on kidney and liver.

    If you are not taking cholesterol-lowering drugs the cause may be an unbalanced diet with low intake of fats.

  • Marked LDL hypocholesterolemia (<10 mg/dL in adults):

    The LDL cholesterol level is very low. If you are not taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, it may be a sign of a genetic disorder. There are some diseases that can be related to such a low value like abetalipoproteinemia or hypobetalipoproteinemia but they are not very common.

    You should visit your doctor because marked LDL hypocholesterolemia may be caused by an underlying disease that should be diagnosed.

Which factors can reduce the LDL cholesterol level in the blood?

To suffer a particular health situation or taking some drugs can reduce your LDL cholesterol level in the blood:

  • Malnutrition
  • Malabsorption
  • Drugs
    • Alpha blocker
    • Antiestrogens
      • Tamoxifen

Which diseases can reduce your LDL cholesterol level in the blood?

The following diseases can explain a LDL cholesterol level in the blood lower than normal:

  • Abetalipoproteinemia
  • Familial hypobetalipoproteinemia
  • Hyperthyroidism

What can I do to increase the LDL cholesterol level in the blood?

If your LDL cholesterol level in the blood is a bit low, you can consider the following tips:

  • If you are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs cut down on the dose, if your doctor considers it appropriate.
  • Follow a balanced diet with a proper intake of fats (meat, dairy products such as cheese or butter).

Where can I find more information about LDL cholesterol level in the blood?

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a low LDL cholesterol level in the blood?

The following values are considered to be below the normal range:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in mg/dl. They are an example of a healthy man of about 45 years old with no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

LDL Cholesterol
Status
Moderate LDL hypocholesterolemia
24 mg/dl23 mg/dl22 mg/dl21 mg/dl20 mg/dl19 mg/dl18 mg/dl17 mg/dl
16 mg/dl15 mg/dl14 mg/dl13 mg/dl12 mg/dl11 mg/dl10 mg/dl 
Marked LDL hypocholesterolemia
9 mg/dl8 mg/dl7 mg/dl6 mg/dl5 mg/dl4 mg/dl3 mg/dl2 mg/dl
1 mg/dl0 mg/dl      
foto de Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante
Written by

Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante

Last update: 27/04/2020

Bibliography

  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 487.
  • Tietz. Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. Carl A. Burtis, Edward R. Ashwood, David E. Bruns, Barbara G. Sawyer. WB Saunders Company, 2008. Pag 402. ISBN: 978-0-7216-3865-2.

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