St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Understanding cholesterol results

    Cholesterol test results; LDL test results; VLDL test results; HDL test results

    Cholesterol is a soft, wax-like substance found in all parts of the body. Your body needs a little bit of cholesterol to work properly. But too much cholesterol can clog your arteries and lead to heart disease.

    Some cholesterol is considered good and some is considered bad. Different blood tests can be done to individually measure each type of cholesterol.

    Total Cholesterol

    A total cholesterol test measures all types of cholesterol in your blood. The results of this test tells your doctor whether your cholesterol is too high.

    • Best: lower than 200
    • Borderline high: 200 - 239
    • High: 240 and higher

    If your total cholesterol levels are high, your doctor will want to know your LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol levels before deciding whether you need treatment.

    Knowing your LDL and HDL cholesterol levels will also help guide your doctor to choose the best drug for you.

    LDL (Bad) Cholesterol

    LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. It's also sometimes called "bad" cholesterol. Lipoproteins are made of fat and protein. They carry cholesterol, triglycerides, and other fats, called lipids, in the blood to various parts of the body. LDL can clog your arteries.

    Your LDL level is what doctors watch most closely. You want your LDL to be low. Too much LDL, commonly called "bad cholesterol," is linked to cardiovascular disease. If it gets too high, you will need treatment.

    A healthy LDL level is one that falls in the best or near-best range.

    Best: Less than 100 mg/dL (less than 70 mg/dL for persons with a history of heart disease or those at very high risk)

    Near Best: 100 - 129 mg/dL

    Borderline High: 130 - 159 mg/dL

    High: 160 - 189 mg/dL

    Very High: 190 mg/dL and higher

    HDL (Good) Cholesterol

    HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. It's also sometimes called "good" cholesterol. Lipoproteins are made of fat and protein. They carry cholesterol, triglycerides, and other fats, called lipids, in the blood from other parts of your body to your liver.

    You want your HDL cholesterol to be high. Studies of both men and women have shown that the higher your HDL, the lower your risk of coronary artery disease. This is why HDL is sometimes referred to as "good" cholesterol.

    A healthy HDL level should be as follows:

    • Men: above 40 mg/dL
    • Women: above 50 mg/dL

    An HDL 60 mg/dL or above helps protect against heart disease. Exercise helps raise your HDL cholesterol.

    VLDL (Bad) Cholesterol

    VLDL stands for very low density lipoprotein. There are three major types of lipoproteins. VLDL contains the highest amount of triglycerides. VLDL is considered a type of bad cholesterol, because it helps cholesterol build up on the walls of arteries.

    A normal VLDL cholesterol level is between 5 and 40 mg/dL.

    Considerations

    Sometimes, your cholesterol levels may be low enough that your doctor will not ask you to change your diet or take any medications.

    When your levels are high, your doctor must consider other factors before deciding whether your cholesterol levels are a concern and need treatment.

    References

    Gennest J, Libby P. Lipoprotein disorders and cardiovascular disease. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 47.

    BACK TO TOP

    • Understanding cholestero...

      Animation

    • Animation

    • Cholesterol

      illustration

    • Understanding cholestero...

      Animation

    • Animation

    • Cholesterol

      illustration

    A Closer Look

      Talking to your MD

        Self Care

        Tests for Understanding cholesterol results

        Review Date: 7/18/2011

        Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and Bethanne Black.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
        adam.com

        A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


        Back  |  Top
        About Us
        Contact Us
        History
        Mission
        Locations & Directions
        Quality Reports
        Annual Reports
        Honors & Awards
        Community Health Needs
        Assessment

        Newsroom
        Services
        Brain & Spine
        Cancer
        Heart
        Maternity
        Orthopedics
        Pulmonary
        Sleep Medicine
        Urgent Care
        Women's Services
        All Services
        Patients & Visitors
        Locations & Directions
        Find a Physician
        Tour St. Luke's
        Patient & Visitor Information
        Contact Us
        Payment Options
        Financial Assistance
        Send a Card
        Mammogram Appointments
        Health Tools
        My Personal Health
        mystlukes
        Spirit of Women
        Health Information & Tools
        Clinical Trials
        Health Risk Assessments
        Employer Programs -
        Passport to Wellness

        Classes & Events
        Classes & Events
        Spirit of Women
        Donate & Volunteer
        Giving Opportunities
        Volunteer
        Physicians & Employees
        For Physicians
        Remote Access
        Medical Residency Information
        Pharmacy Residency Information
        Physician CPOE Training
        Careers
        Careers
        St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
        Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile