Cholesterol Test

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

View the Cholesterol Levels Slideshow Pictures

Quick GuideCholesterol Levels Pictures Slideshow: What They Mean, Diet and Treatment

Cholesterol Levels Pictures Slideshow: What They Mean, Diet and Treatment

How do I interpret my cholesterol test results?

Cholesterol levels are but one of the risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. It is important to control cholesterol levels to minimize risk just as it is important to control diabetes, high blood pressure, and avoid smoking.

Guidelines for cholesterol levels have been developed by many health organizations including the American Heart Association. It is important to remember that tests may need to be repeated over time to help monitor treatment and disease risk prevention

Total cholesterol
Less than 200 mg/dL: desirable
200-239 mg/dL: borderline high risk
240 and over: high risk
HDL (high density lipoprotein)
Less than 40 mg/dL (men), less than 50 mg/dL (women): increased risk of heart disease
Greater than 60mg/dL: some protection against heart disease
LDL (low density lipoprotein)
Less than 100 mg/dL: optimal
100-129 mg/dL: near optimal/above optimal
130-159 mg/dL: borderline high
160- 189 mg/dL: high
190 mg/dL and above: very high
Triglycerides
Less than n150 mg/dL: normal
150-199 mg/dL: borderline to high
200-499mg/dL: high
Above 500 mg/dL: very high

Medically reviewed by Robert J. Bryg, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease

REFERENCE:

American Heart Association. What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/30/2015

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