Lipoproteins are spherical-shapedparticles that contain varying amounts of cholesterol, triglycerides,phospholipids and proteins. The relative amounts of the protein and lipidconstituents determine the density of the lipoprotein particles. The role ofhigh-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles in lipid metabolism is primarily theuptake and transport of cholesterol from peripheral tissue to the liver. Thisprocess is known as reverse cholesterol transport and has been proposed as acardio protective mechanism. Low HDL-C levels have repeatedly been associatedwith an increased risk of coronary heartdisease and coronary artery disease. Thus, the determination of serum HDLcholesterol has been recognized as a useful tool in identifying high-riskpatients.
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