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Health Issues

Lipids and heart disease

Your cholesterol test can give you more information that just the level of cholesterol in your blood. The levels of "good" and "bad" cholesterol (HDL and LDL) can be measured, as well as the triglycerides. Knowing the levels of each of these lipids gives a more accurate assessment of your risk of developing heart disease.

HDL is good, it takes cholesterol out of the artery wall. High levels of HDL cholesterol can protect against heart disease. The desirable level is 1.0 or above.

LDL is bad, it can deposit cholesterol in artery walls, which can lead to blockage and heart attack. Raised levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with early heart disease. The desirable level is 3.5 or less

Triglycerides or fat are a source of energy, however a high level of triglycerides can often lead to a low level of good cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. The desirable level is 2.0 or less

Hepatitis B

The infection with hepatitis B virus can affect people in a number of ways.
About two thirds of adults have symptoms such as:

  • Jaundice which is when the skin and the whites of the eyes become yellow.
  • Fever and extreme tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pains, nausea and vomiting

In some cases it can lead to severely debilitating liver disease and death from liver failure.
One third of adults and almost all children may have no apparent symptoms. However often the greatest threat is the risk of complications.
Approximately 10% of adults and 90% of children who are infected become chronic carriers of the disease. They have no symptoms but continue to be infectious and my infect other people. They also have a very high chance of developing chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer, 10 to 30 years after the initial infection.

To decrease the risk the National Health and Medical Research Council recommends hepatitis B immunization for all infants and adolescents.


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