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Cholesterol Levels

Total cholesterol - the total amount of cholesterol in the blood. It includes both low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

LDL (bad) cholesterol - the main source for cholesterol plaque buildup and blockage in the arteries.

HDL (good) cholesterol - HDL helps remove cholesterol from the cholesterol plaque buildups in the arteries.

Non-HDL - total cholesterol minus HDL. The non-HDL includes LDL and other types of cholesterol, such as VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein).

Triglycerides - a form of lipid in the blood that can raise the risk for heart disease. Higher risk for in women.

Total Cholesterol LevelCategory
<200 mg/dl (<5.18 mmol/L)Desirable
200-239 mg/dl (5.18-6.18 mmol/L)Borderline high
≥240 mg/dl (>6.18 mmol/L)Desirable
LDL Cholesterol LevelCategory
<70 mg/dl (<1.18 mmol/L)Optimal for individuals with coronary artery disease
<100 mg/dl (<2.6 mmol/L)Optimal for individuals at risk for coronary artery disease,
or with a history of diabetes
100-129 mg/dl (2.6-3.3 mmol/L)Near optimal if no coronary artery disease/
above optimal if presence of coronary artery disease
130-159 mg/dl (3.4-4.1 mmol/L)Borderline if no coronary heart disease,
high if presence of coronary artery disease
160-189 mg/dl (4.1-4.9 mmol/L)High if no presence of coronary heart disease,
very high if presence of coronary artery disease
≥190 mg/dl (>4.9 mmol/L)Very high
HDL Cholesterol Level Category
≥60 mg/dl (>1.5 mmol/L)Considered protective against heart disease
men - 40-59 mg/dl (1-1.5 mmol/L)The higher, the better
women - 50-59 mg/dL (1.3-1.5 mmol/L)
men - <40 mg/dl (<1 mmol/L)A major risk factor for heart disease
women - <50 mg/dl (<1.3 mmol/L)
Total Cholesterol/HDL RatioRisk for Coronary artery Disease
Women3.3Half the Average Risk
4.4Average Risk
7.0Double the Average Risk
Men3.4Half the Average Risk
5.0Average Risk
9.6Double the Average Risk
Triglyceride LevelCategory
<150 mg/dl (<1.7 mmol/L)Normal
150-199 mg/dl (<1.8-2.2 mmol/L)Borderline high
200-499 mg/dl (<2.3-5.6 mmol/L)High
≥500 mg/dl (>5.6 mmol/L)Very high

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