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Hyperlipidemia refers to a family of disorders characterized by very high levels of fats in the blood. There are two common lipid abnormalities: hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol levels) and hypertriglyceridemia (high blood levels of triglycerides). Although fats play a vital role in metabolic processes, high levels of lipids in the blood raise the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, and heart attack.

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1. What Are Lipids?

Lipids are the fat in your body. Although you need a certain number of lipids to ensure proper bodily function, high levels in the blood may result in severe health conditions. Hyperlipidemia describes high levels of triglycerides and cholesterols, two types of lipids, in the blood. There are two main types of cholesterol: high-density lipoproteins (HDL), often called the "good" kind, and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), often called the "bad". A high level of HDL is good because it helps eliminate LDL, which is responsible for plaque buildup in the blood vessels. High levels of triglycerides can do the same.

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