What Are The Normal Ranges For The Two Types Of Cholesterol?

Dr. Robert Eckel answers the question: 'Normal Range For Two Cholesterol Types?'

ByRobert H. Eckel, M.d., Professor Of Medicine (endocrinology and Cardiology), University Of Colorado School Of Medicine
January 02, 2009, 2:26 PM

— -- Question: What are the normal ranges for the two types of cholesterol?

Answer: The levels of LDL cholesterol are determined by risk for cardiovascular disease and risk for links to family history, to gender, to age, to smoking, to high blood pressure. So if you've got few risks, meaning zero or one, your LDL cholesterol should be under 160 milligrams per deciliter. If, in fact, you have two or more risk factors for heart disease, it's recommended your LDL cholesterol be under 130 milligrams per deciliter. If you have heart disease or stroke or some other form of vascular disease or diabetes, it's recommended that your LDL cholesterol be treated to levels under 100 milligrams per deciliter.

Finally, if you have known heart disease and continue to have undue risk such as continue to smoke, are overweight, have low HDL cholesterol, or in fact have other risk factors that add to your risk, then it's recommended that, by many, that you get the LDL cholesterol even lower to levels under 70 milligrams per deciliter.

For HDL cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease is determined by an HDL cholesterol under 40 milligrams per deciliter. And then there's a new condition which is driven by the metabolic syndrome categorization. The metabolic syndrome typically occurs in people with obesity who have big waist circumferences. Here we have a different stratification of HDL cholesterol levels. For women now, you get a point for the metabolic syndrome if your HDL is less than 50 milligrams per deciliter. And for men, it's still at the level of 40 milligrams per deciliter.

Next: What Is The Role Of Genetics In Determining Cholesterol Levels?

Previous: What Are The Different Types Of Cholesterol In My Blood, And What Is The Significance Of Each?

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