Measuring Your Cholesterol Level

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Total Cholesterol
Total Cholesterol Level
Total Cholesterol Category
Less than 200 mg/dL
200–239 mg/dL
Borderline high
240 mg/dL and above
LDL Cholesterol
HDL Cholesterol
LDL Cholesterol Level
LDL Cholesterol Category
HDL Cholesterol Level
HDL Cholesterol Category
Less than 100 mg/dL
Less than 40 mg/dL
A major risk factor for heart disease
100–129 mg/dL
Near optimal/above optimal
40–59 mg/dL
The higher, the better
130–159 mg/dL
60 mg/dL and above
Considered protective against heart disease
160–189 mg/dL
190 mg/dL and above
Very high
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
Bad cholesterol: the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
Good cholesterol: helps keep cholesterol from building up in arteries
Measuring Your Cholesterol Level
Source: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health.