​Combined Hyperlipidemia

Cholesterol is a waxy substance which is a type of fat found in your blood. Cholesterol uses special proteins to travel in the blood. The combinations of cholesterol and protein carriers are called “lipoproteins”, which are of two types:

  • Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol transport cholesterol particles throughout the body

  • High-density lipoproteins (HDL) or good cholesterol picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to the liver.

Combined hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol, result in LDL deposits in your blood vessels. This affects the blood flow through the arteries and as a result, heart may not receive enough oxygen rich blood increasing the risk of heart diseases. Decrease in blood flow to your brain can cause heart stroke. Factors such as smoking, obesity, unhealthy diet, diabetes and lack of exercise can cause high cholesterol levels.​​​

Combined hyperlipidemia shows virtually no symptoms in the early years.

Individuals with this disease may develop high cholesterol levels during their teenage years, which upon diagnosis may become evident during their 20s or 30s.

Set an appointment with a doctor at the Internal Medicine Service Line at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, for a consultation regarding combined hyperlipidemia. Ideally you should have your cholesterol levels checked every five years. If the results are not within the satisfactory range, your doctor may ask for more frequent testing.

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Combined hyperlipidemia is diagnosed by undergoing a simple blood test called the lipid profile or lipid panel. The reports include:

  • Total cholesterol

  • LDL cholesterol. People with combined hyperlipidemia will show increased levels.

  • HDL cholesterol. People with combined hyperlipidemia will show decreased levels.

  • Triglycerides​. People with combined hyperlipidemia will show increased levels.


Your initial steps to control cholesterol levels should include taking a healthy diet and exercising more. If these alterations fail to control combined hyperlipidemia, your doctor may recommend medications. 

The medication or a combination of medications prescribed to you will depend on your age, risk factors, overall health and possible side effects. These include:

  • Statins which blocks an enzyme needed by the liver to make cholesterol. This prompts your liver to remove cholesterol from your blood

  • Bile-acid-binding resins. Your liver makes bile acids by using cholesterol. When the medications bind to the bile acids, the liver uses excess cholesterol to make more bile acids thus reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood.

  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitors which inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from your diet thus reducing the cholesterol levels in your blood​


The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. 



The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.