Hyperlipidemia: Case Study

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A 64-year-old male presents in the healthcare for physical and lab work. Concerning his history, he has a stroke due to hyperlipidemia. The lab work will address cholesterol testing for HDL, LDL, and triglycerides as well as a physical assessment. On examination, he has a BMI of 32 and has edema of the legs. Additionally, he has hypertension BPI 150/92 pulse 88 and resp of 22. In his history, he was smoking being dx with stroke, but he denies smoking now. He is taking Lipitor 20mg daily and Atorvastatin along with proper dieting to help lower "bad" cholesterol and fats (such as LDL and triglycerides) and to raise "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. Lipitor and Atorvastatin belong to a group of drugs known as "Statins." The drugs work by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver, lowering "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides and raising "good" cholesterol thus decreasing the risk of heart disease and helping in preventing strokes and heart attacks. Currently the patient is on Lisinopril-Hydrochlorothiazide tablets. In addition, to proper diet, lifestyle changes like exercising, losing weight and stopping smoking are also put in place.

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Hyperlipidemia is also medically known as high cholesterol. The term hyperlipidemia covers many disorders that result from excess fats (lipids) in the blood (Cold, et al., 2017). The causes of hyperlipidemia can be controlled although not all of them. Concerning the treatment intervention this condition is treatable along with other measures like watching what you eat, and regular exercises (Heart.org, 2017). Doctor's prescriptions regarding medication to treat hyperlipidemia are also recommended. The goal of medical intervention is to lower harmful cholesterol levels in the blood, and this intervention is meant to reduce the risk of developing adverse conditions like heart attack, heart disease, and stroke (Peters, 2016). Concerning the hyperlipidemia condition, several people are suffering from this condition accounting for about 37% of the United States population (Cdc.gov, 2017).

Differential diagnosis

Concerning practice care, differential diagnosis is the act of distinguishing a specific illness or a condition from the close conditions that may present with similar clinical signs (Rana, Hedera, & SpringerLink, 2014). Regarding hyperlipidemia, there are conditions that demand exclusive analysis to differentiate between hyperlipidemia and these conditions. One of these conditions is an obstructive liver disease whose differentiating signs and symptoms include jaundice and elevated bilirubin (Epocrates online, 2017). Nephrotic syndrome is another condition that needs differential diagnosis not to be mistaken with hyperlipidemia. Nephrotic Syndrome is differentiated from hyperlipidemia through the use of laboratory tests where the total cholesterol is at times low or normal (Epocrates online, 2017). Chronic renal; insufficiency and hypothyroidism are also conditions that are focused on during differential diagnosis for hyperlipidemia. Chronic renal insufficiency is a condition that presents as a hypertriglyceridemia following inadequate clearance (Epocrates online, 2017). Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, has a different differential diagnosis that distinguishes it from hyperlipidemia. The named conditions are thereby focused during a differential diagnosis for patient safety and better outcome (Epocrates online, 2017).

How to differentiate between normal and abnormal lipid levels

To differentiate between normal and abnormal levels of lipids in the blood, there are standards set for a reference point. According to medlineplus.gov, among other medical agencies, they have set the known values of lipids that have been categorized into desirable, borderline and high. From the different categories, one can easily differentiate between normal and abnormal levels of lipids. Additionally, from the physical examination like in the case study, signs like Bp, pulse, and edema are indicative of any related sign to support the diagnosis (Medlineplus.gov, 2017)

Standard screening tools

The standard screening tools for hyperlipidemia include a physical examination and laboratory diagnosis. The above screening tools are used to differentiate between other similar diagnoses from hyperlipidemia (Glatter, 2016). Concerning the laboratory diagnosis as a screening tool, there are ranges that have been put in place to ensure there is the proper diagnosis. Concerning the physical examination as a screening tool, it is a recommended step in addressing any diagnosis related to heart disease risks and other related conditions (Miller, 2013).

Clinical guidelines and management strategies

The available clinical guidelines for hyperlipidemia in relation to the case study have focused on medication interventions for instance statins which help in reduction of "bad" cholesterol from the body (Medlineplus.Gov, 2017). Additionally, the clinical guidelines have also focused on other management strategies like proper dieting and regular exercise which facilitate the body to use part of the excess fats in the body thus decreasing its deposit in the blood capillaries. With the above clinical guidelines and management strategies, the case study has an effective management outcome (Cholesterolmenu.com, 2017).

Why there are clinical guidelines

The reason for having clinical guidelines regarding the case study is because many people are suffering from the named condition of and there are hopes of a recovery in the clinical guidelines and management strategies. Clinical guidelines are considered to part of informed consent and failure to provide is a malpractice (Watson, 2014). Clinical guidelines are used to support the given medications and more so to help the patients in adhering to the medications. To ensure full recovery, the clinical guidelines available for patients suffering from hyperlipidemia and risk of developing heart attack are dieting strategies and regular body exercises (Wise, & Schultz, 2015). According to the ethical practice, patients should be given full information concerning the management strategies (Westrick, Susan & Jacob, 2016).


In conclusion, the above case study has steered this discussion to address the diagnosis of hyperlipidemia, management, and treatment. The measures that were used in the case study are valid and reliable according to the available literature to address hyperlipidemia. The cessation of some behaviors like smoking and regular exercises alongside with the treatment measures to administers statins are the recommended management strategies that will help the patient in full recovery and better outcome.


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