In order to
understand what your cholesterol numbers mean, you first need to know
about cholesterol levels.
have your cholesterol level checked by a doctor* you will usually get
4 different numbers:
See the tables below to see how each of
your cholesterol levels compare.
* Please note:
if you just get your cholesterol levels checked in a drugstore or
pharmacy you will usually just receive two numbers: your total
cholesterol level and your HDL cholesterol level. If your total
cholesterol is 200 or more OR your HDL level is less than 40 you need
to see your doctor for a full cholesterol level screening.
Total Cholesterol Level:
|Less than 200
|240 and above
LDL Cholesterol (Bad
LDL Cholesterol Level
Factors that can affect your LDL level
- Cigarette smoking
- High Blood Pressure (140/90 or
higher or on blood pressure medication)
- Low HDL cholesterol (less than 40)
- Family history of early heart
disease (heart disease in father or brother before age 55; heart
disease in mother or sister before age 65)
- Age (men 45 years or older; women 55
years or older)
HDL Cholesterol (Good
HDL cholesterol protects against heart
disease, so for HDL, higher numbers are better.
A cholesterol level less than 40 is low
and is considered a major risk factor because it increases your risk
for developing heart disease. HDL levels of 60 mg/dL or more
help to lower your risk for heart disease.
Triglycerides can also raise heart
disease risk. Levels that are borderline high (150-199) or high (200
or above) may require treatment.
Click here for information about
Lowering your Cholesterol.