How Are Blood Cholesterol Test Results Interpreted
Doctors interpret blood cholesterol test results by examining each person’s risk factors. The doctor looks at the presence or absence of risk factors such as existing heart disease, diabetes and other medical and lifestyle conditions to determine the person’s chance of dying from heart disease or having a non-fatal heart attack within 10 years. The doctor will place the patient in either a high, intermediate or low risk category, and can then create an effective treatment plan for that person, either with lifestyle changes, medication or both.
How Can I Lower My Cholesterol
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
Types Of Cholesterol And How They Work In Your Body
Cholesterol is carried through the circulatory system on two lipoproteins: high-density lipoproteins , often referred to as good cholesterol, and low-density lipoproteins , also called bad cholesterol.
LDL is termed bad cholesterol because when there is too much of it circulating in the blood , it can eventually build up in the form of plaque on the walls of your arteries. This is called atherosclerosis. Over time, this narrows the arteries and raises the risk for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease, notes the AHA.
A high level of triglycerides the most common type of fat in your body can also lead to fatty buildups in your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, if combined with high LDL or low HDL cholesterol levels, per the AHA.
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How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
A blood test, specifically a lipid panel or lipid profile, will show your total cholesterol levels.
The measured total cholesterol level is made up of your LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and 20% of triglycerides .
For an accurate reading, you should not eat or drink anything between nine and twelve hours before the sample is taken.
In Australia, cholesterol levels are measured in millimoles per litre .
The range below is a guide for a healthy blood cholesterol level.
- Total cholesterol should be between: 3.9 5.5 mmol/L
- HDL should be between: 0.9 2.1 mmol/L
- LDL should be between: 1.7-3.5 mmol/L
- Triglycerides should be between: 0.5 1.7 mmol/L
How To Decrease Your Cholesterol Levels
In most people, high HDL is not harmful, so it doesnt necessarily require treatment. The action plan depends largely on how high your levels are, as well as your overall medical history. Your doctor can help determine whether you need to actively lower HDL levels or not.
Your overall cholesterol levels may be decreased by:
- not smoking
- drinking alcohol in moderate amounts only
- getting moderate exercise
- reducing saturated fats in your diet
- managing underlying health conditions, such as thyroid diseases
The American Heart Association recommends that everyone over the age of 20 gets a cholesterol test every four to six years. You may need to test more frequently if you have risk factors for high cholesterol, such as family history.
More research is needed to further understand how high HDL can be harmful in certain people. If you have a personal or family history of either high cholesterol levels or C-reactive proteins, talk to your doctor about steps you can take to regularly monitor your HDL levels.
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Why Is Cholesterol Important To Our Bodies
Every cell in the body needs cholesterol, which helps the cell membranes form the layers. These layers protect the contents of the cell by acting as the gatekeeper to what things can enter or leave the cell. It is made by the liver and is also used by the liver to make bile, which helps you digest foods. Cholesterol is also needed to make certain hormones and to produce vitamin D. Your liver makes enough cholesterol to meet your bodys needs for these important functions.
Can You Get Rid Of Cholesterol Deposits
Researchers are working on ways to eliminate plaque from coronary arteries. One method that has been proposed involves using combinations of medicines in healthy people aged 25 to 55 years. It is suggested that getting the levels of cholesterol down very low will allow arteries to clear up and heal up.
Several researchers believe that the way to reverse heart disease, and to prevent it in the first place, is found in a whole food, plant-based diet. Studies have been done that have shown that limiting nutrition to whole foods that are plant-based have been successful in reducing blood cholesterol and even, in some cases, lessening plaque buildup.
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What Is The Highest Recorded Cholesterol Level
such as higher doses of rosuvastatin or atorvastatin to get cholesterol levels below 70 mg/dL, Heredity, but it is one at which most guidelines would consider medication therapy appropriate, LDL Cholesterol: Keep it low, High blood cholesterol can run in families, according to the Mayo Clinic, Near optimal/above optimal, Very highTotal cholesterol of 5.8mmols/l is higher than recommended, levels of over 500.Author: Maryann FletcherTotal cholesterol level above 240 mg/dl is considered high, Even though it is less common, and duration of statin use.What can raise my risk of high cholesterol? A variety of things can raise your risk for high cholesterol: Age, Triglycerides, Which by the doctors statements he should have beeI clocked n at 500 and I thought tht was high Passion W.Dads got 6587 right now.I had a recorded triglyceride level of 14000, Normal total cholesterol levels are below 200 milligrams per deciliter, and in such situations the risk of complications on it.My wife had pancretitus and her tryglicerides was 17, levels of total cholesterol above 280 mg/dl are considered very high, 100-129 mg/dL,100, theyre way too high, very high cholesterol levels occur in people who have an inherited condition called familial hypercholesterolemia , According to the Guinness Book of World Records, HDL Cholesterol: The higher, is used together
When Should You Contact Your Healthcare Provider About Your Cholesterol Levels
In truth, your healthcare provider will probably talk to you about your numbers first. As always, contact your provider if you have any new or worsening pain or other uncomfortable feelings. Make sure you know what medications you take and what they are expected to do. Call the provider if you have a reaction to the medicine.
Before you go to the office, and after you have had a cholesterol test, it helps to have a list of questions prepared about your test results and any proposed treatment.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
When considering cholesterol numbers, its important to remember that you really have the ability to make those numbers go in your favor. What you choose to eat, how much you are able to move and how you deal with lifes ups and downs are things that you can influence.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/31/2020.
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What Kind Of Test Measures Cholesterol
Everyone over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol levels measured at least once every five years. Your healthcare provider will order a blood test that will indicate how much cholesterol is carried in your bloodstream. This test will give your cholesterol levels. Your provider might also order what is called a lipid panel or a lipid profile. The panel gives you the following numbers:
- Total cholesterol.
- Non-HDL cholesterol.
- Ratio between cholesterol and HDL.
There are advanced tests that break down the size and shapes of LDL cholesterol levels, and also give the LDL particle number, but those are not normally ordered. Some test makers say that the more advanced tests are better at indicating who is at risk for heart disease, but most providers still feel that the usual tests are adequate.
Why Are Blood Cholesterol Levels Measured
A cholesterol blood test tells us important information about the amount and types of different fats in the bloodstream. These fats found in the bloodstream include cholesterol and triglycerides. Triglycerides are the most common form of fat in your body. If the levels of triglycerides in your blood are too high, they can affect your blood cholesterol levels.
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Cholesterol Levels For Men And Women
HDL levels differ for men and women
Women naturally have higher HDL cholesterol levels than men due to differences in the genes. Women should aim for an HDL cholesterol level above 1.2mmol/L while men should aim for above 1mmol/L.
Cholesterol levels can rise during pregnancy
During pregnancy, both cholesterol and triglyceride levels can significantly rise. We don’t recommend getting a cholesterol test during pregnancy because your results won’t be accurate. Our advice is to wait until at least 6-8 weeks after your baby is born or after you stop breastfeeding to get a cholesterol test. This means you don’t need to worry unnecessarily. Find out more about pregnancy and blood fats.
Cholesterol levels rise during the menopause
Women may also find their cholesterol levels rise during the menopause.
Weird Fruit That Fights Cholesterol
Move over oatmeal. There’s a new kid in town . And when it comes to fighting cholesterol naturally, it’s making serious waves.
That’s because when Italian researchers gave folks an extract of this little-known fruit, their findings were surprising:
…healthier cholesterol within weeks. And no major side-effects.
It’s results like these that caught the attention of Health Canada. And even our very own Cleveland Clinic here in the US.
And that’s just the start…
In a recent clinical study this fruit was shown to revitalize arteries after 6 months. And healthier arteries means better blood flow… helping deliver critical nutrients all over your body.
No wonder users report feeling more energetic after eating this.
Boston MD, Dr. George Karanastasis had this to say after reviewing the research, “There are plenty of foods that help keep cholesterol healthy… but I’ve never seen one that actually improves artery health this much …”
This short video is quickly going viral. It’s racked up more than 46,000 views in the past few weeks alone. And it’s already helping thousands of people across the country to better their health.
That said, a word of warning…
So, if this can help the tens of thousands of folks who can’t wait that long, I’ll consider it mission accomplished.”
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What Types Of Cholesterol Are There
There are two different types of cholesterol including:
- “Bad Cholesterol” which carry cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL cholesterol is bad because it builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow which can increase the risk of a heart attack.
- “Good Cholesterol” which picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to the liver. Having high HDL is linked to lower risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
How Is The Total Cholesterol Or Blood Cholesterol Test Done
A blood test is a routine test. A phlebotomist is the person whose job it is to draw blood. Blood is usually drawn from the vein in your arm. You will sit down and the phlebotomist will wrap a rubber band around your upper arm so that the vein in your elbow sticks out. Then they will use a needle to puncture the vein and remove blood. The blood is sent to the lab to be examined.
Youve probably been at health fairs where testing is offered. In that case, the person performing the test takes a drop of blood from your finger. The finger stick test uses a small blade to poke a hole in the tip of your finger to get the blood.
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What Is A Healthy Normal Cholesterol Level In The Uk
Your cholesterol level is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood, often shortened to mmol/L.
It is recommended that healthy adults should have a total cholesterol level below 5 mmol/L. In the UK, three out of five adults have a total cholesterol level of 5 mmol/L or above, and the average cholesterol level is about 5.7 mmol/L, which can be a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.
However, its important to remember that as well as your cholesterol level, other factors such as smoking and high blood pressure are risk factors for the development of coronary heart disease.
The total cholesterol level includes LDL and HDL . The risk of coronary heart disease is particularly high if you have a high level of LDL cholesterol and a low level of HDL cholesterol. Individual levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol will vary and your doctor will be able to give you specific advice based on your own results.
In the UK, components of cholesterol are measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood . As a guide, these are the values healthy adults should aim for
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If I Have Too Much Cholesterol And Triglycerides In My Blood What Happens
Some people have too much cholesterol in their blood. This condition is called hypercholesterolemia or dyslipidemia. It is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, which is a condition that can lead to heart attacks and stroke.
When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, the excess can settle on the inside of the blood vessels. Over time, fatty deposits called plaque build up in the blood vessels. Plaque clogs the blood vessels so that blood can’t flow properly. When blood flow is obstructed, the chance of a heart attack or stroke increases. High triglyceride levels increase the tendency for the blood to clot. Blood clots can also obstruct blood flow and the risk of a heart attack or stroke goes up.
What Are Normal Levels Of Cholesterol
Normal levels of cholesterol are different depending on your age and sex. These guidelines show desirable total, non-HDL,LDL and HDL levels by age and sex.
Table 1: Target cholesterol levels by age and sex
|Age and sex|
People aged 19 years and younger Men aged 20 years and olderWomen aged 20 years and older
The table above spells out the numbers for normal cholesterol levels. The table below shows you cholesterol levels that are higher than normal. High cholesterol numbers vary by age group and sex, and may be different for those who have heart disease. These guidelines represent high cholesterol numbers for those who do not have heart disease.
Table 2: High total, non-HDL and LDL cholesterol levels by age and sex
|Age and sex|
|People aged 19 years and younger|
Borderline: 170-199 mg/dL
High: Greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL
Borderline: 120-144 mg/dL
High: Greater than or equal to 145 mg/dL
Borderline: 110-129 mg/dL
High: Greater than or equal to 130 mg/dL
High: Greater than or equal to 239 mg/dL
Near optimal or above optimal: 100-129 mg/dL
Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL
Very high: Greater than 189 mg/dL
High: Greater than or equal to 239 mg/dL
Near optimal or above optimal: 100-129 mg/dL
Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL
Very high: Greater than 189 mg/dL
LDL cholesterol levels
If you do not have heart disease or blood vessel disease, and you are not at high risk for developing heart disease, the optimal number is less than 100 mg/dL.
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