April 19, 2014
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Cholesterol

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Ask an Expert: High Cholesterol

Latest Question

Can having a kidney-related condition affect a person's cholesterol level? How so?

Dr. Choi's Response

Yes, having a kidney condition can increase the cholesterol level. One particular kidney condition, called the "nephrotic syndrome," is associated with high levels of the bad fats, such as LDL cholesterol and in particular triglycerides.

It is not so obvious why this form of kidney disease and cholesterol are linked, but it is thought that more LDL and triglycerides are made in the liver, and less of the circulating cholesterol is broken down and inactivated.

The nephrotic syndrome itself is a condition where a large amount of protein appears in the urine. Normally there is either no protein or almost no protein in the urine. It is quite unlikely that you have ever heard the term "nephrotic syndrome" before, but it is unfortunately quite common. It is through nephrotic syndrome that uncontrolled diabetes can affect the kidney, and it is one of the most common causes of chronic kidney disease.

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