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Dyslipidemia is elevation of plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, or both, or a low high-density lipoprotein (HDL); it is one of the factors that can lead to a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome.

Dyslipidemia is also associated with the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. HDL cholesterol plays a vital role in the transport of excess cholesterol to the liver, which decreases total plasma cholesterol. When total cholesterol is high or HDL cholesterol concentrations are low, the possibility of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease are increased. 
Increased concentrations of triglycerides in the blood cause depletion of cholesterol in low density lipoprotein (LDL) particles, resulting in the formation of small dense LDL molecules. Concentration of HDL cholesterol is also decreased by triglyceride-rich VLDL in the blood.