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What Is The Average Cholesterol Level

What Is A Normal Cholesterol Level

What Is A Normal Cholesterol Level? – by Dr Sam Robbins

Its essential to monitor your cholesterol levels, especially if you have a history of high cholesterol.;Simply put, cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance your body needs to work efficiently. It is found in animal products and produced in the liver. Even though your body needs it, having too much puts you at risk for coronary artery disease.;

Because youre at risk for coronary artery disease, if cholesterol levels are too high, its essential to know what is a healthy cholesterol level.;We will explain whats normal or too high, as there are factors that contribute to fluctuating cholesterol levels.

What Are The Symptoms Of High Cholesterol

Lifestyle factors include:

  • an unhealthy diet– eating too much saturated fat is thought to increase levels of LDL or bad cholesterol
  • lack of exercise – ;this can also increase your levels of LDL
  • obesity – being overweight often means you also have higher levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and a lower level of the good HDL.
  • drinking too much alcohol;
  • smoking – if you smoke, a chemical in cigarettes called acrolein stops the good HDL from moving fatty deposits to your liver

Underlying conditions

  • kidney disease
  • transient ischaemic attack – or a mini stroke
  • peripheral arterial disease

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Getting Help For Your Child

If you are worried about your child’s weight, consider consulting with a registered dietitian or expressing your concerns with your pediatrician.

Children can benefit from getting involved in meal planning, shopping, and cooking, reducing intake of sweetened beverages, and learning how to eat more fruits and vegetables. Being a good role model and getting the entire family on board is also important for making changes and providing your child with confidence.

Also Check: What Do My Cholesterol Numbers Mean

How Often Should You Get Tested

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , most healthy adults should have their cholesterol checked every four to six years.

Your risk factors will also determine how often your cholesterol should be checked. Adults with a history of high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity need more frequent measurements, as do all adults as they age.

Children should have their cholesterol checked at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 years and again between 17 and 20 years of age. If a child has a family history of high cholesterol, heart disease, being overweight, or obese, their pediatrician may recommend getting checked earlier and more often.

How Can I Lower My Cholesterol

Reducing Cholesterol Levels

There are two main ways to lower your cholesterol:

  • Heart-healthy lifestyle changes, which include:
    • Heart-healthy eating. A heart-healthy eating plan limits the amount of saturated and trans fats that you eat. Examples include the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet and the DASH Eating Plan.
    • Weight Management. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol.
    • Physical Activity. Everyone should get regular physical activity .
    • Managing stress. Research has shown that chronic stress can sometimes raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol.
    • Quitting smoking.Quitting smoking can raise your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries, having more HDL can help to lower your LDL cholesterol.
  • Drug Treatment. If lifestyle changes alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol medicines available, including statins. The medicines work in different ways and can have different side effects. Talk to your health care provider about which one is right for you. While you are taking medicines to lower your cholesterol, you should continue with the lifestyle changes.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Also Check: What Is The Daily Intake Of Cholesterol

Healthy Cholesterol Numbers By Age

It’s not just about how much HDL a person has. There are several other measurements clinicians use to assess a person’s cholesterol and corresponding health risks.

Non-HDL levels are a person’s total cholesterol minus their HDL level. This is not, however, equal to a person’s LDL level. As mentioned, there are a few other types of cholesterol besides HDL and LDL. Though they play a more minor role in heart health, they are still important to measure when it comes to risk assessment. According to the Mayo Clinic, a non-HDL measurement appears to be a better risk predictor than simply measuring LDL levels.

Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter . The following are healthy cholesterol numbers by age for men and women, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

Cholesterol Levels by Age Chart

Anyone age 19 and younger

Men age 20 or older

Women age 20 or older

Total Cholesterol

50 mg/dL or higher

As you can see, the difference between healthy cholesterol levels for men and women over 20 years old comes down to HDL cholesterol: Women have a slightly higher range for healthy HDL.

Cholesterol levels do tend to increase as a person gets older. But healthy cholesterol levels remain the same.

Onions Diabetes And Cholesterol

People with diabetes have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Diabetes often lowers HDL cholesterol, and raises LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Its important for people with diabetes to keep their cholesterol in check.

One study examined the effects of combining the diabetes drug metformin and onion extract. Rats with diabetes were given this combination. Researchers saw a reduction in blood glucose and total cholesterol levels. Despite the encouraging results, researchers are unsure how onion extract helps reduce cholesterol levels and why it increased hunger and feeding in rats without diabetes. Many of the studies have also only examined the effects of onion on cholesterol in animals. There have been limited studies in humans. More research is needed.

Also Check: How Much Cholesterol Does An Egg Have

Are Home Cholesterol Testing Kits Accurate

The answer is yes if the tests are labeled CDC-certified. This means that the contents have been approved by the Cholesterol Reference Method Laboratory Network, a group that works with test makers, laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make sure tests are accurate.

For home tests, you will still need to fast for 12 hours and to obtain blood for testing. Some kits come with packages for mailing to a lab for results. Other kits have a monitor so you can get the results at home. The cost of such home kits vary.

Cholesterol Levels By Age Chart Canada

Heart Health : What Is the Normal Range for Cholesterol?

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Other Lipid Panel Components

Your test results might also include additional measurements:

  • Non-HDL cholesterol: The number reflects your total cholesterol minus HDL.
  • Very-low-density lipoprotein : Its similar to LDL cholesterol, but while low-density lipoproteins mostly carry cholesterol to your tissues, very-low-density lipoproteins transport triglycerides.

Put together, all these test measures give your doctor a detailed glimpse of your bloods lipid content and thus your risk of restricted blood flow and heart disease.

Cholesterol Levels Chart For Adults

It’s important to note that healthy cholesterol levels can look different for everyone, depending on other lifestyle factors, medical history, and genetics. But this chart can help give you some general guidelines:

If you have coronary artery disease or diabetes, your doctor will want to see lower LDL cholesterol levels ideally, below 70 mg/dL because you’re already at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke due the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries.;

You’ll also need your cholesterol tested more regularly if you have cardiovascular disease or may be at risk.;

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Your Test Results: A Preview

Your test results will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood . Your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol are among numerous factors your doctor can use to predict your lifetime or 10-year risk for a heart attack or stroke. Your doctor will also consider other risk factors, such as age, family history, smoking status, diabetes;and high blood pressure.

Lipid profile or lipid panel is a blood test that will give you results for your HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total blood cholesterol.

Watch an animation about cholesterol score.

How Can You Prevent High Cholesterol Levels And Coronary Heart Disease


Prevention methods are very much the same as treatment methods. First, dont smoke. If you do smoke, make plans to quit now. Find ways to add physical activity to each of your days. Take steps to keep your weight in a healthy range. Eat well. Consider following the Mediterranean diet. It is the only diet proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. Take care of any other medical conditions you might have by following your healthcare providers advice and instructions. Learn to really relax and calm down.

Also Check: Does High Cholesterol Cause Headaches

What Are The Normal Cholesterol Levels By Age

As per the American heart association recommendations, adults should check the cholesterol level every 4-6 years after they attained the age of 20 years. As age gets increased the levels of cholesterol also gets increased.

The person below the age of 19 years should have a total cholesterol level below 170 mg/dl, while the HDL should be greater than 45mg/dl. And the LDL level less than 110 mg/dl is normal.

People above the age of 19 years should have total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dl. The HDL level should be above 60 mg/dl while the LDL level should be less than 100 mg/dl. It is also to be noted that if coronary disease is present in these patients, they should maintain the LDL level below 70 mg/dl.

Your Cholesterol Levels Are A Key Indicator Of Your Risk Of Heart Disease Heres All The Information You Need To Check And Understand Your Cholesterol Levels

If you or loved ones have high cholesterol, you probably already know its a cause for concern. The levels of cholesterol in your blood are linked to a risk for cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks and strokes. But even if your cholesterol levels are normal, you need to be mindful of what cholesterol is and what you can do to keep your numbers in a healthy range.

Thankfully, finding out your cholesterol level is a relatively painless process. And once you know those numbers, you can better adjust your lifestyle and medications to improve your health.

Recommended Reading: Is Your Brain Made Of Cholesterol

How Is An Hdl Cholesterol Test Different From A Total Cholesterol Test

A total cholesterol test measures the sum of all cholesterol found in different kinds of lipoproteins. The total cholesterol number includes HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol.

Because these kinds of cholesterol have distinct implications for cardiovascular health, tests of total cholesterol often measure HDL cholesterol as well so that more information is provided about the ratio of HDL to non-HDL cholesterol in the blood.

Why Age Is A Factor

What Are Normal Cholesterol Levels, Triglyceride Levels & Healthy Cholesterol Ratios?

The recommended ranges for your cholesterol will vary based on age and gender. As people get older, cholesterol levels rise naturally. For example, people who have gone through menopause may have higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children’s cholesterol levels be checked between ages 9 and 11.

However, children with certain risk factors, such as those whose parents or grandparents have had heart attacks or been diagnosed with blocked arteries at age 55 or earlier in males or 65 or earlier in females, should be tested for cholesterol between ages 2 and 10.

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What Are The Types Of Cholesterol

Cholesterol moves throughout the body carried by lipoproteins in the blood. These lipoproteins include:

  • Low-density lipoprotein is one of the two main lipoproteins. LDL is often called the bad cholesterol.
  • High-density lipoprotein is the other main lipoprotein. HDL is often called the good cholesterol.
  • Very-low-density lipoproteins are particles in the blood that carry triglycerides.

Cholesterol Levels Chart For Children

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US National Library of Medicine, here’s what cholesterol levels should look like for children under 19:

Some children are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol because of a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia . The most effective way to diagnose FH is to get your child proper genetic testing from a specialist between the ages of 2 and 10, says Mohamed Al-Kazaz, MD, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital.;

A child is also more likely to have high cholesterol if they have obesity, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, or an underactive thyroid, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.;

Also Check: Can You Have Blocked Arteries With Low Cholesterol

Different Types Of Cholesterol And Levels

To measure your cholesterol, you need to take a lipoprotein test. You will then be given information about five aspects:

  • LDL cholesterol the leading cause of artery blockage and build-up, known as low density.
  • HDL cholesterol removes cholesterol from arteries, known as high density.
  • Total cholesterol the total amount of cholesterol in the blood; includes LDL and HDL.
  • Non-HDL cholesterol total cholesterol minus HDL.
  • Triglyceridesa fat found in the blood that raises the risk for heart disease, especially women.

Depending on your age and gender, there are healthy levels for different people.;Both men and women age 20 and older have the follow levels deemed normal:

  • Non-HDL: 130mg/dL or less
  • Total Cholesterol: 125 to 200mg/dL

For HDL, different levels are considered normal for men and women.

  • Normal HDL for men: 40mg/dL or more
  • Normal HDL for women: 50mg/dL or more

Factors That Affect Cholesterol Levels

There are many aspects of your body and how you eat that affects your cholesterol levels. Some include:

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Knowing what contributes to high cholesterol and knowing a normal cholesterol level ensure your health in the long run.

If you have any questions and are unsure if you are within the normal cholesterol range, please seek a professional. We are here to help contact us now;781.322.7300

Factors That Influence Cholesterol Levels

Normal Cholesterol Levels

There are many ways your cholesterol levels can fluctuate, and its due to factors that have power over, or none at all.;Some factors that contribute to cholesterol levels include:

  • Cigarette smoking: Smoking lowers good cholesterol, which leads to an increase in bad cholesterol as HDL removes LDL.
  • Overweight: Your weight has a lot to do your risk factor for heart disease, and increases cholesterol. Losing weight, however, lowers bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol.
  • Working out: Whether its walking, running, or any physical activity, it raises good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol.
  • Gender and Maturity: Older people tend to have higher cholesterol levels. Post-menopausal women have more elevated LDL cholesterol than men.
  • Background: Your race may contribute to different cholesterol levels. For example, African Americans tend to have higher cholesterol than Caucasians.
  • Genes: Your DNA may influence your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol tends to run in the family.

Recommended Reading: How To Cure Bad Cholesterol Naturally

Can Bad Cholesterol Levels Be Too Low Can Good Cholesterol Levels Be Too High

It isnt often that people have bad cholesterol that is too low or good cholesterol that is too high. There are studies being done that suggest that extremes of any kind are not healthy for everyone.

Even though there is no clear-cut number about what LDL level is too low, levels under 40 mg/dL may be associated with certain health issues, including depression/anxiety, and hemorrhagic stroke.

However, there is data from clinical trials to support that there is no evidence of harm when LDLs remain <40mg/dl on statin therapy.

In some cases, genetic conditions can cause you to have very low cholesterol levels. In other cases, nutritional problems, some cancers, hypothyroidism and certain infections can also cause low cholesterol levels. In any of these types of situations, the underlying issues need to be addressed.

In terms of having too much of a good thing, researchers are studying the effects of too much HDL, the good cholesterol. No conclusions have been reached, but there have been studies into the possible relationship between high HDL and cancer, and a greater risk of heart attack among the high risk. Excessively high HDL may be dysfunctional HDL and not protective.

How To Affect The Level Of Cholesterol In The Blood

Already with a small excess of the level of «bad» cholesterol or approaching the upper boundary should start treatment and prevent further growth of this indicator. This is especially important for women after age 60. The view that the content of cholesterol in the blood is associated only with the diet is wrong. More than 80% of this substance is synthesized in the liver and only a small proportion enters the body with food. But the food is the factor that people are easily affected, thus regulating the level of cholesterol in the blood.

Respecting the rules of nutrition you can only affect the amount of harmful cholesterol, 20 30% which the person receives with food. To increase the content of good cholesterol by changing the diet, it is impossible, as the HDL cholesterol produced by the body.

Raise HDL possible with the help of moderate physical activity, which at the same time prevent deposition of «bad» cholesterol, arrived with food. Highly recommended sports even for people after a stroke or heart attack, if there is no relevant contraindications of the doctor, as well as persons with sedentary work. The perfect measure to maintain a normal ratio of cholesterol in the blood is the intake of vitamin complexes.

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