Total Cholesterol Hdl Ldl And Triglycerides
Our cholesterol ratio calculator takes into account four basic blood test results. All recommended levels are according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute within the National Institutes of Health.
You only need to input three of your results – they are dependent on each other according to the formula:
total cholesterol = HDL + LDL + 0.2 * triglycerides
- Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dL
- Borderline high: 200 – 239 mg/dL
- High: 240 mg/dL and above
- Optimal: 60 mg/dL and above
- Borderline: 40 – 59 mg/dL
- Risk of heart disease: Less than 40 mg/dL
- Optimal: Less than 100 mg/dL
- Near optimal/above optimal: 100 – 129 mg/dL
- Borderline high: 130 – 159 mg/dL
- High: 160 – 189 mg/dL
- Very high: 190 mg/dL and above
- Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL
- Borderline high: 150 – 199 mg/dL
- High: 200 – 499 mg/dL
- Very high: 500 mg/dL or above
Cholesterol Levels For Adults
- Total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter 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 considered high.
- 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 of more concern 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.
- HDL levels should be kept higher. A reading of less than 40 mg/dL is considered a major risk factor for heart disease. A reading from 41 mg/dL to 59 mg/dL is considered borderline low. The optimal reading for HDL levels is of 60 mg/dL or higher.
Whats Your Cholesterol Level Anyway
A standard lipid blood test usually measures the concentration of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides levels. The LDL-cholesterol level is typically estimated from these numbers using a well-established formula that has been more recently revised and improved by researchers at Johns Hopkins.
So what are your target numbers? According to Michos, an ideal LDL cholesterol level should be less than 70 mg/dl, and a womans HDL cholesterol level ideally should be close to 50 mg/dl. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dl. As Michos notes, total cholesterol levels well below 200 mg/dl are best.
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The Tlc Program To Lower High Cholesterol
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute created the TLC Program, short for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, for people who want to control their cholesterol. Even if you take medications to lower your cholesterol, you may want to consider the possible benefits of this program.
It has three parts: diet, exercise, and weight control. The goal: Reduce your risk of heart disease. This is not a fad diet. Itâs considered a âbalancedâ plan, and the idea is to change your habits for the long run.
This plan focuses on foods that are low in natural cholesterol and saturated fat but high in the âgood fats.â One class of these good fats is monounsaturated fats. You also get a lot of fiber in this diet.
When you follow the program, you shoot for 2 key numbers every day:
You do this to lower your LDL level. You can always talk to your doctor or dietician in more detail about how to measure how much fat and dietary cholesterol youâre taking in.
The first step is to manage dietary fats
When you follow the TLC Program, all the fat you eat in one day should not go over 35% of total calories. Try to avoid saturated fats. They can be found in things like:
- Whole milk dairy products
Trans fats can also raise cholesterol. Avoid them when you can. They are found in products such as:
- Fried foods
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.
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How Is High Cholesterol Treated
There are several ways to lower high blood cholesterol , including lifestyle changes or medication, or both. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine which therapy is best for you.
Healthcare providers like to start with the least invasive treatments when possible, such as lifestyle changes. Youll be advised to:
- Avoid tobacco. If you do smoke, quit. Smoking is bad for you in many ways, and reducing your level of good cholesterol is one of them.
- Change the way you eat. Limit the amount of trans fats and saturated fat. Eat heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and whole grains. Limit red meat, sugary products and dairy products made with whole milk.
- Get more exercise. Try to get about 150 minutes of physical activity every week, or about 30 minutes per day for most days of the week.
- Keep a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, talk to your healthcare provider about safe ways to do this. Youll see results even before you reach your ideal weight. Losing even 10% of your body weight makes a difference in your cholesterol levels.
- Reduce the effect of negative emotions. Learn healthy ways to deal with anger, stress or other negative emotions.
- Control blood sugar and blood pressure. Make sure you follow your healthcare providers instructions for blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes, and for keeping blood pressure in the healthy range.
- Pitavastatin .
Questions For Your Doctor About Test Results
Talking with your doctor can provide the most detailed information about your HDL cholesterol test results. Some of the following questions may be useful in obtaining detailed explanations from your physician:
- What was my HDL cholesterol level? Is that level healthy for me?
- Were any other types of cholesterol measured? If so, what were the results of those measurements?
- Do I have risk factors for cardiovascular disease?
- Should I have another cholesterol test? If so, when?
- Are there any other tests that you recommend to evaluate my cardiovascular health?
- Do you recommend any lifestyle changes or treatments to reduce my risk of cardiovascular disease?
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What Happens During A Cholesterol Test
The cholesterol test, or screening, requires a simple blood draw. You may need to fast for 8 to 12 hours before your cholesterol test. Be sure to ask your doctor how to prepare for the test.
The cholesterol test checks your levels of:
- Low-density lipoprotein or badcholesterol. Having high levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries and result in heart disease or stroke.
- High-density lipoprotein or goodcholesterol. HDL is known as good cholesterol because high levels can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood that your body uses for energy. The combination of high levels of triglycerides with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol levels can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Total cholesterol, the total amount of cholesterol in your blood based on your HDL, LDL, and triglycerides numbers.
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.
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What Does The Test Measure
An LDL cholesterol test checks the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Results are typically measured in milligrams per deciliter .
Cholesterol is a fatty substance your body naturally creates to help in digesting food, creating hormones, and making vitamin D. Cholesterol is made up of different types of lipoproteins, which are a combination of fats, also known as lipids, and proteins. Lipids connect to proteins to be able to move through your blood. Cholesterol testing often measures different substances in the blood:
- High-density cholesterol: HDL carries cholesterol from other parts of your body to your liver for processing and removal and is considered the good cholesterol.
- Low-density cholesterol: LDL is known as the bad cholesterol because too much of it in your blood can lead to a buildup of plaque in your arteries, putting you at risk of heart disease, diabetes, or stroke.
- Triglycerides: Triglycerides are fats created by the foods we eat. These fats are stored until your body needs energy. Triglycerides are processed by your body when it needs energy. Having high levels of triglycerides can lead to coronary heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.
- Very low-density cholesterol: VLDL is similar to LDL cholesterol but carries triglycerides through the blood. VLDL can contribute to plaque buildup and is considered a bad cholesterol.
What Causes High Cholesterol
As mentioned before high levels of cholesterol may have a substantial impact on our overall life. So it’s worth knowing what are the causes of high cholesterol.
Hypercholesterolemia is often caused by thyroid insufficiency, type 2 diabetes and obesity. It may also be caused by genetic disorders, such as familial hypercholesterolemia, which is not that rare – about 0.3% of the population have mutations causing high LDL-cholesterol!
Nevertheless, the most important factor influencing your lipid and cholesterol levels is your lifestyle! Diet has an impact on cholesterol levels, but the size of its impact differs between individual patients. The results of meta-analysis Does Dietary Cholesterol Matter? published in 2016 reveal that the intake of high-cholesterol food causes an increase in serum cholesterol levels. Also trans fatty acids have a strong atherogenic potential – they reduce levels of HDL-cholesterol while increasing levels of LDL-cholesterol .
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Additional Lipid Markers Of Cvd Risk
The TC/HDL-C ratio is an index of CVD risk and is considered to be a traditional determinant or risk marker when considering the need for lipid-lowering therapy. An elevated TC/HDL-C ratio is usually associated with a low HDL-C and/or elevated TG, both of which are commonly seen in individuals with diabetes and often in individuals without diabetes, even in the face of an optimal LDL-C . The elevated TC/HDL-C ratio is considered to represent a marker of lipid-derived, residual risk in treated patients, but it is not considered a target of therapy. Even so, this dyslipidemia is relatively responsive to healthy behaviour interventions and improvements in glycemic control, interventions that should be considered in all instances anyway.
Evidence suggests that fibrate therapy may help reduce the microvascular complications associated with diabetes , and it appears as if these beneficial effects are not solely due to the lipid changes induced by this drug class . For example, the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes study found that long-term treatment with fenofibrate reduced albuminuria and slowed estimated glomerular filtration rate loss over 5 years, despite initially and reversibly increasing plasma creatinine . Furthermore, if residual hyper-TG is high enough to impart a risk of pancreatitis, fibrates may be warranted.
What Are Ldl And Hdl
LDL and HDL are two types of lipoproteins. They are a combination of fat and protein. The lipids need to be attached to the proteins so they can move through the blood. LDL and HDL have different purposes:
- LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the “bad” cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries.
- HDL stands for high-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the “good” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver then removes the cholesterol from your body.
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Medications To Lower High Cholesterol
The goal of cholesterol treatment is to help you prevent a heart attack or stroke. So the drugs your doctor prescribes also depend on your chances for heart disease.
The higher your risk, the more important it is to get your levels down. Your doctor will look at all of your risk factors and decide which medications will help you the most.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs include:
Cholesterol-lowering drugs work best when combined with a low-cholesterol diet and an exercise program.
Statins block the production of cholesterol in the liver. They lower LDL and triglycerides and can slightly raise HDL. These drugs are the first treatment for most people with high cholesterol. If you already have heart disease, statins reduce the chances of heart attacks. Side effects can include diabetes, liver damage, and, in a few people, muscle tenderness or weakness. If your doctor prescribes statins, you should ask them the percentage by which you should lower your cholesterol. Generally, it will be between 30% and 50%. Commonly used statins include:
Bile acid sequestrants
These drugs work inside the intestine, where they bind to bile and prevent your circulatory system from reabsorbing it. Bile is made largely from cholesterol, so these drugs work by reducing the bodys supply of cholesterol. That then lowers both total and LDL cholesterol. The most common side effects are constipation, gas, and upset stomach. Commonly used bile acid sequestrants include:
Understanding The Highs And Lows Of Cholesterol
You know that too much is dangerous. But what is cholesterol, anyway? Where does it come from? And is it all bad?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in every cell in the body. Its either made by the body or absorbed from food. Your body needs cholesterol to make important steroid hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and vitamin D. Its also used to make bile acids in the liver these absorb fat during digestion.
So some cholesterol is necessary but bad cholesterol is something you can do without. Excess bad cholesterol in the bloodstream can deposit into the bodys arteries. These deposits are called plaques and result in atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This is the major cause of heart attacks, strokes and other vascular problems.
Your total cholesterol level is a measure of the total amount of cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream, which includes several components:
- LDL cholesterol: LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. This is known as the bad cholesterol, which directly contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries. Very low density lipoprotein, or VLDL cholesterol, is another type, which is a precursor to LDL.
- Total cholesterol is VLDL cholesterol plus LDL cholesterol plus HDL cholesterol.
- HDL cholesterol: HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. Experts think at optimal levels it might help the body get rid of LDL cholesterol.
And guess what? This buildup can start as early as your 20s.
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The Norm Of Cholesterol For Women By Age
With age, the rate of cholesterol in a womans body increases. But this is not a pathology if it does not go beyond what is permissible. Exceeding the allowed blood level can be accompanied by symptoms that are not associated with excess cholesterol: headaches, dizziness, heaviness in the legs even after a little effort, the appearance of yellow spots on the skin, as well as around of the eyes. Meanwhile, the constant excess of cholesterol leads to strokes, heart attacks, coronary heart disease.
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How Cholesterol Moves Around The Body
Cholesterol is a white, insoluble and waxy substance. It is carried around the body by two key transport systems in the blood, which include:
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol carries most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells. It is called the bad cholesterol because when its level in the bloodstream is high, it can clog up your arteries.
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is called the good cholesterol, because it helps remove excess cholesterol out of the cells, including cells in the arteries.
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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 dont recommend getting a cholesterol test during pregnancy because your results wont 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 dont 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.
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