artist rendering of inside of a blood with fat cells floating

What is the Relationship Between Dyslipidemia and Coronary Artery Disease?

cardiogram Coronary Artery Disease, Dyslipidemia

Over the years, high cholesterol levels have become a source of public fear due to mainstream media narratives. However, there’s more to the story. 

Doctors refer to an abnormal lipid panel as dyslipidemia. This is a disease that involves abnormal cholesterol levels and can . Diagnosis usually involves a simple blood draw and there are treatment and preventative protocols that can be taken1.

Here, we’ll define dyslipidemia, then review the scientific evidence that links it to coronary artery disease (CAD). 

Artist rendering of a blood vein with high levels of cholesterol
What is dyslipidemia? 

Whereas hyperlipidemia, or high-cholesterol, refers to high levels of LDL or triglycerides, dyslipidemia refers to abnormal levels (too high or too low) of one or more of the three major lipids in the blood:2 

  • Elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) 
  • Reduced levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) 
  • High levels of triglycerides (i.e., fatty acids) 

LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol, is the protein responsible for distributing cholesterol from your liver to peripheral organs. High levels of LDL mean your bloodstream has a lot of cholesterol. 

HDL, on the other hand, scavenges the blood to take cholesterol back to the liver. Therefore, it reduces its levels in the blood. 

Finally, triglycerides comprise a source of energy. Consuming more triglycerides than you need results in two things: 

  • Fat storage inside the adipose tissues
  • Elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood 
What are the signs and symptoms of dyslipidemia? 

Dyslipidemia is dangerous because a patient might have it without even realizing it. Most people get diagnosed with dyslipidemia after a routine blood test3. 

Other times, dyslipidemia may be discovered after it’s already caused a complication (e.g., heart disease, stroke). 

artist rendering of human blood vein with fatty deposits

How does dyslipidemia impact coronary artery disease? 

High levels of LDL promote something called atherosclerosis4. This word means that your blood vessels will thicken because of cholesterol deposition. Moreover, immune cells and other substances will reach the atheromatous plaque, exacerbating the issue. 

If not managed properly, this condition could lead to coronary artery disease. You see, atherosclerosis partially obstructs blood vessels until a clot forms and travels downstream, clogging the entire vessel. Consequently, heart cells will no longer receive blood and will ultimately die.

women in t-shirt and leggings walking on a exercise track outdoors
What can you do about dyslipidemia? 

Adopting healthy habits is the best way to deal with dyslipidemia. Lowering your LDL and triglycerides while increasing your HDL will reverse all the damage that has been done. 

How can you do that? Diet and Exercise. 

Limiting your intake of refined sugars, saturated fats, and alcohol can do wonders to your lipid panel. Additionally, include fresh foods, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. 

Losing weight via exercise is another fantastic way to manage dyslipidemia. 

Someone touching their phone, looking at the Cardiogram app
Cardiogram for Dyslipidemia 
Cardiogram is a useful tool to help prevent and manage dyslipidemia. Try these features on the Cardiogram app to help lower your LDL:

Enroll in a habit

Because exercise is one key to lowering your LDL levels, enrolling in one of our popular daily exercise Habits can help. On each habit, we will show you its clinical benefits along with studies to back them up. Just be sure you've spoken with a doctor before engaging in vigorous activity if you regularly experience discomfort.  


By keeping track of how you’re feeling throughout the day, you can get a better idea of how your new habits are benefiting you. For instance, journaling about your food intake and exercise programs can give you better insight into what's working.

Exercise in Your Optimal Zone

By creating workouts, you're able to see how long you were in each different heart rate zone during your workout. By ensuring you're getting enough time in the proper zones each week, you're lowering your risk of dyslipidemia! 

Join our facebook community

If you have questions or concerns, it's important that you first seek help and advice from your doctor. However, our Cardiogram Communityon Facebook is another great resource, filled with other members who share similar experiences and enjoy helping others in the community. We also have someone who moderates the group with a healthcare background, ready with lots of clinical knowledge to answer any questions you may have about your data.
Takeaway message 

Dyslipidemia is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease. Getting routine blood work and learning how to prevent and correct dyslipidemia is indispensable to lowering your risk of cardiovascular events. 


Cardiogram app shown on phone and smart watch


Cardiogram app shown on phone and smart watch