Medical Surgical Labs Cholesterol Labs #2

Question

Which client is at the highest risk for hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia?

Answers

  1. A 31-year-old Caucasian female who works as a ER nurse in a Level 1 trauma center. She takes dextroamphetamine for her ADHD and she is a smoker. She eats a poor diet and has no time for exercise.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because this person has 5 risk factors placing her at higher risk for hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia. She has a stressful job, takes a stimulant, and smokes. Taking a stimulant and smoking narrow blood vessels. She eats a poor diet and does not exercise.

  2. A 45-year-old African-American male who works as a museum curator and freelance artist. He has diabetes and his current A1C is 6.0. He eats a healthy diet and exercises three times a week.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the only risk factor this client has is that he is an African-American male. He has diabetes, which is also a risk factor; however, his A1C of 6.0 indicates that it is well under control.

  3. A 52-year-old African-American female who works as a church secretary. She has high blood pressure presently controlled with an anti-hypertensive and a BMI of 25. She walks a few times a week with her coworkers. She enjoys a moderate diet and may overindulge occasionally.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although she is African-American and overweight, her blood pressure is controlled with an antihypertensive. She also exercises three times a week.

  4. A 55-year-old African-American male who reports he is an “avid” coffee drinker. He does not exercise but eats a healthy diet. He works as a forklift operator when he is not caring for his horse.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because this client only has 3 risk factors. He is African-American, he is of the male gender and he is over 50 years of age. Though he reports he does not exercise, he does care for a horse, which is a very physical activity that counts as exercise.

Overview

Hyperlipidemia is the medical term for high triglycerides and hypercholesterolemia is the medical term for high cholesterol. Risk factors include the following: Stress, stimulants, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, poor diet and is most prominent in African-Americans, particularly males over the age of 50.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Risk factors for high cholesterol include stress, stimulants, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, poor diet, and is most prominent in African-Americans, particularly males over the age of 50.
These risk factors contribute to high cholesterol and can be modified by lifestyle changes. Eating a healthy diet, exercising, and reducing stress are ways one may reduce their cholesterol levels. Taking the appropriate medications to keep other comorbidities under good control is also a positive intervention. These interventions can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke and offset the factors that are not in the client’s control, such as race and genetics.

Test Taking Tip

When answering questions like this one, where the student has to choose the client at highest risk, count each risk factor and also weigh them. For example: The client with diabetes has a A1C of 6.0, which would negate this risk factor. Same with the client who has high blood pressure but it is controlled with medication.

Video Rationale