The nurse is assessing a patient for coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors. Which of the following modifiable risk factors has the most impact on the development of CAD?

Elevated low density lipoproteins (LDLs)


• Elevated LDLs are the biggest modifiable risk factor in the development of CAD. LDLs transport cholesterol to the artery walls, where they develop into atherosclerotic plaques.

• Incorrect: Type 1 diabetes is a serious but non-modifiable risk factor.

• Incorrect: Elevated HDLs are protective against CAD.

• Incorrect: Elevated triglyceride levels are linked to the development of CAD, but they are not as important as LDLs. The risk is partially accounted for by a strong inverse relationship between triglyceride levels and HDL levels.

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