Often asymptomatic disease in the early years, hypercholesterolemia can still be accompanied by warning signs. Dr. Monika Wassermann warns of one of them.
“Hypercholesterolemia attacks in silence, which makes it difficult to perceive the symptoms”, recognizes Dr. Monika Wassermann in the columns of the Express (in English). The disease progresses slowly over several years without the person realizing it until other symptoms related to complications arise. However, a warning sign, which may seem trivial, can put you in the ear.
Hypercholesterolemia is characterized by too high concentrations of “bad cholesterol” in the blood, LDL-cholesterol. It is a risk factor for atherosclerosis (formation of atherosclerotic plaques) involved in the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. In France, “nearly 20% of adults have LDL-cholesterol higher than 1.6 g/l”, estimates Public Health France, a rate considered abnormal in the absence of cardiovascular risk factors (chronic disease such as diabetes, smoking, overweight, obesity, family history).
Beware of pale nails
One way to spot the disease might be to look at his hands, and more specifically his fingernails. “High cholesterol levels cause plaques to build up in your blood vessels. These affect blood flow, resulting in pale nails,” says Dr. Monika Wassermann. Brittle, slow-growing nails may also be associated with high cholesterol, according to the National Health Service.
Once these symptoms have been identified, a blood test with lipid profile will make the diagnosis. In the absence of a cardiovascular risk factor, this type of assessment is recommended from the age of 50 for men and 60 for women or even for women taking hormonal contraception.
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