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Do You Know What Your Cholesterol Test Results Mean?

Posted Aug 24 2008 7:06pm 1 Comment

So, you’re worried about your cholesterol levels and you have a blood test. Tragedy, the blood test reveals your total cholesterol levels are over 200.

What does this really mean?

Most people aren’t sure about how to read their own blood test results, so rely on their doctor’s explanation.

Below is an explanation of what your test results mean - These lab tests look at five separate components:

*** Cholesterol: This is the total cholesterol. Levels over 200 are considered elevated. A good level for cholesterol is 175 mg/dL or less.

*** Triglycerides: This represents the blood fats. They will be elevated after a fatty meal and require a fasting test to be accurate. The desired range is between 30 and 175 mg/dl, this is the important score.

*** HDL: This is good cholesterol. The higher the number, the better. Most adults have a level of around 55 mg/dl.

*** LDL: This is the low density lipoprotein cholesterol. The higher the number, the more risk of hardening of the arteries. A level below 130 mg/dL is desirable for adults.

*** Chol/HDL ratio: Levels less than 4.5 indicates less risk of coronary heart disease.

A good way to remember which numbers are desirable for HDL and LDL, is to think High HDL’s and Low LDL’s. So in spite of not being the most important marker for heart disease, your cholesterol levels should be monitored and – more importantly – can be maintained in most cases without the use of statin drugs.

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Are the cholesterol numbers the same for women and men? If not, why is this difference?
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