What Is a Cholesterol Test?
What Do Your Test Results Mean? continued...
level. This is a measure of your HDL “good” and LDL “bad” cholesterol. The higher your total cholesterol level is, the more likely you are to have a heart problem. The good news is that your doctor can help you lower it. The amount of total cholesterol in your blood will be a number:
200 mg/dL or less: A healthy level
200 to 239 mg/dL: Almost an unhealthy level
240 mg/dL or more: An unhealthy level
LDL “bad” cholesterol levels. This type of fat can clog your arteries when there’s too much in your blood, and clogged arteries can lead to a heart attack or stroke. A low LDL level helps protect you from both. The amount of LDL “bad” cholesterol in your blood will be a number:
Less than 100 mg/dL: A healthy level (if you have heart disease, your doctor may recommend an LDL of 70 mg/dL or lower.)
100 to 129 mg/dL: An almost healthy level
130 to 159 mg/dL: An almost unhealthy level
160 to 189 mg/dL: An unhealthy level
190 mg/dL and higher: A very unhealthy, dangerous level
HDL “good” cholesterol levels. This is the “good” cholesterol that helps keep the “bad” LDL cholesterol from building up inside your arteries. Unlike the other numbers from a cholesterol test, where a high number is dangerous to your health, with HDL, a high number is healthy, so that’s the result you want.
Less than 40 mg/dL for men: An unhealthy level
Less than 50 mg/dL for women: An unhealthy level
60 mg/dL or higher for men and women: A healthy level
Triglyceride levels. Your body makes this type of fat from the food you eat. High levels, in combination with either low HDL or high LDL, can clog your arteries. As with LDL levels, you want this number to be low:
Less than 150 mg/dL: A healthy level
150 to 199 mg/dL: An almost unhealthy level
200 to 499 mg/dL: An unhealthy level
500 mg/dL and higher: A very unhealthy, dangerous level