Cholesterol Good, Bad , Moderate Levels

In this article, I am going to explain (i) What are high cholesterol symptoms (ii) What do your cholesterol numbers mean? and (iii) How do you measure cholesterol levels?

High Cholesterol Symptoms

Elevated cholesterol levels initially cause no symptoms; they often remain undetected for a long time. For this reason, it is essential to check cholesterol levels regularly.

Many people don’t even realize that they have high cholesterol levels until they develop serious complications, such as heart attacks or strokes. For this reason, it’s important to check cholesterol levels regularly. If you’re age 20 years or older, ask your doctor if you should have routine cholesterol screening.

What Do Your Cholesterol Numbers Mean?

Cholesterol levels vary by age, weight, and gender. As you age, your body tends to produce more cholesterol. Men are generally at a higher risk for higher cholesterol throughout life than women. This is because a man’s cholesterol levels increase typically as they age. However, women aren’t immune to high cholesterol. A woman’s risk goes up after she enters menopause.

How Do You Measure Cholesterol Levels?

A blood test called a “lipid profile” or “lipid panel” is done to measure your cholesterol levels. This blood test is done after a 9 to 12 hour fast (not eat or drink anything but water for 9 to 12 hours before the test). The “lipid profile” test gives information about your:

Total cholesterol – a measure of the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. It includes both low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

LDL (bad) cholesterol – the primary source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries

HDL (good) cholesterol – helps remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries

Non-HDL – this number is your total cholesterol minus your HDL. Your non-HDL includes LDL and other types of cholesterol, such as VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein).

Triglycerides – another form of fat in your blood that can raise your risk for heart disease, especially in women.

Cholesterol numbers are measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Here are the healthy levels of cholesterol, based on your age and gender:

Cholesterol Chart For Adults

All values are in mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) and are based on fasting measurements.

Total CholesterolHDL CholesterolLDL CholesterolTriglycerides
GoodLess than 200 (but the lower, the better)The ideal is 60 or higher; 40 or higher for men and 50 or higher for women is acceptableLess than 100; below 70 if coronary artery disease is presentLess than 149; ideal is <100
Borderline to moderately elevated200–239n/a130–159150–199
High240 or higher60 or higher160 or higher; 190 considered very high200 or higher; 500 considered very high
Lown/aless than 40n/an/a

 

Note 1: Total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high, and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is deemed high.

Note 2: LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL. Levels of 100 to 129 mg/dL are acceptable for people with no health issues but may be more concerned for those with heart disease or heart disease risk factors. A reading of 130 to 159 mg/dL is borderline high and 160 to 189 mg/dL is high. A reading of 190 mg/dL or higher is considered very high.

Cholesterol In Children

Children who are physically active, have a healthy diet, are not overweight, and don’t have a family history of high cholesterol are at a lower risk for having high cholesterol.

The “Centers For Disease & Control Prevention” (CDC) recommends that all children have their cholesterol checked between ages 9 and 11 and then again between ages 17 and 21.

Children with more risk factors, such as having obesity, diabetes, or a family history of high cholesterol, should be checked between ages 2 and 8 and again between ages 12 and 16.

Cholesterol Chart for Children

All values are in mg/dL

Total cholesterolHDL cholesterolLDL cholesterolTriglycerides
Good170 or lessGreater than 45Less than 110Less than 75 in children 0–9; less than 90 in children 10–19
Borderline170–19940-45110–12975-99 in children 0–9; 90–129 in children 10–19
High200 or highern/a130 or higher100 or more in children 0–9; 130 or more in children 10–19
 

Low

N/ALess than 40N/AN/A

Notes: Compared to adults, acceptable levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in children are different.

(i) An acceptable range of total cholesterol for a child is less than 170 mg/dL. Borderline high total cholesterol for a child ranges from 170 to 199 mg/dL. Therefore, any reading of total cholesterol over 200 in a child is too high.

(ii) A child’s LDL cholesterol levels should also be lower than an adult’s. The optimal range of LDL cholesterol for a child is less than 110 mg/dL. Borderline high is from 110 to 129 mg/dL while high is over 130 mg/dL.

Elevated cholesterol levels initially cause no symptoms; they often remain undetected for a long time. For this reason, it is essential to check cholesterol levels regularly.

Many people don’t even realize that they have high cholesterol levels until they develop serious complications, such as heart attacks or strokes. For this reason, it’s important to check cholesterol levels regularly. If you’re age 20 years or older, ask your doctor if you should have routine cholesterol screening.

Notes:

  • It’s essential to find out your cholesterol numbers because lowering cholesterol levels that are too high reduces the risk of getting heart disease and cuts down on your chance of a heart attack or dying of heart disease, even if you already have it.
  • Cholesterol-lowering is vital for everyone – older adults, middle age and younger people; women or men; and people with or without heart disease

Read in this “Cholesterol Book” about the personal experience of a 69 years old man who has beaten heart disease, lives an active, independent life, and uses natural ways to keep his cholesterol under control:

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