What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean

Written by Clinical Research Associates staff


Cholesterol "risk" means how your cholesterol level affects your likelihood of heart disease. Your doctor will take other factors into consideration, including age, family history, and your blood pressure. Following is a chart that may help you understand the different levels:

Total Cholesterol Levels

Less than 200 mg/dL

Desirable

200-239 mg/dL

Borderline-High Risk

240+ mg/DL

High Risk

Understanding the Difference in HDL and LDL

HDL Cholesterol is the "good" cholesterol. The higher this level is, the better off you are. Levels greater than 60 mg/dL are considered protective.

LDL Cholesterol is the "bad" cholesterol. The higher this level is, the greater your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Use the chart below to gauge what your LDL levels should be.

Less than 100 mg/dL

Optimal

100-129 mg/dL

Above Optimal

130-159 mg/dL

Borderline High

160-189 mg/dL

High

190+ mg/dL

Very High