Possible causes of dyslipidemia are classified into primary causes, which involve genetic factors, and secondary causes, which involve lifestyle choices and certain medical conditions, states Merck Manuals. Dyslipidemia is characterized by either an increase in triglyceride levels or plasma cholesterol or both, or a low concentration of high-density lipoproteins.
Primary causes of dyslipidemia are attributed to permanent alterations in a patient's genetic make-up, which can lead to excessive production or impaired clearance of triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins. Conversely, genetic mutations can also result in underproduction or rapid removal from the blood of high-density lipoproteins.
Secondary causes of dyslipidemia include an inactive lifestyle combined with excessive consumption of foods high in trans fats, saturated fat and cholesterol, notes Merck Manuals. Other known secondary causes include diabetes mellitus, alcoholism, hypothyroidism, chronic kidney disease, cirrhosis and certain medications, such as beta-blockers, retinoids and glucocorticoids.