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What are normal cholesterol levels?
Blood tests are required to measure total cholesterol and lipoproteins. For a complete lipoprotein analysis, the patient should be fasting for at least 12 hours.
The National Cholesterol Education Program endorsed by the American Heart Association suggests the following risk guidelines:
Cholesterol Risk Guidelines
Total Cholesterol (mg/dL)
200 to 239
100 to 129
130 to 159
160 to 189
The goal is to have patients modify lifestyle and diet to maintain cholesterol levels within the normal range. It is important to remember that HDL may protect a patient from heart disease and it may be a treatment goal to raise a too low level of HDL.