Cholesterol is a substance found in fats of the body. Our body need fats for various healthy metabolic activities, but having high cholesterol can increase health related risks. This high cholesterol deposit in the arteries and can cause narrowing of arteries which further lead to various heart related disease.
Types of Cholesterol
There are 3 important types of cholesterol found in the blood. These are:
- HDL (High Density Lipoprotein), or also known as Healthy cholesterol. HDL picks up the bad cholesterol from periphery and take it back to the liver for metabolism.
- LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein), or also known as Lethal or Bad cholesterol. LDL stick on the walls of arteries and causing narrowing of vessels.
- Triglycerides, another type of fat, and main type of fat stored by the body.
There are many factors that may increase risk of high cholesterol. Most important factors are:
- Poor Diet.
- Physically Inactive.
Symptoms of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol has no symptoms. A blood test is the only way to detect high cholesterol.
Factors within your control are, Physically inactive, Obesity and an unhealthy diet can contribute to high LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol. Factors beyond your control are, Your Genetic Makeup may inhibit cells from removing LDL cholesterol from your blood efficiently or cause your liver to produce too much cholesterol.
Lipid Panel or Lipid Profile is the lab investigation that you can proceed with to check patient’s cholesterol level. There are defined limits of each type of cholesterol, if cholesterol exceed from these limits then it is said to be a high cholesterol level. The Normal limits are:
Total Cholesterol Levels
- Desirable, Below 200 mg/dL or 5.2 mmol/L.
- Borderline High, 200-239 mg/dL or 5.2-6.2 mmol/L.
- High, 240 mg/dL and above or above 6.2 mmol/L.
- Best for people who have Heart Disease or Diabetes,
|Below 70 mg/dL or||Below 1.8 mmol/L|
- Optimal for people at risk of Heart Disease,
|Below 100 mg/dL or||Below 2.6 mmol/L|
- Near optimal if there is no Heart Disease. High if there is Heart Disease,
|100-129 mg/dL or||2.6-3.3 mmol/L|
- Borderline high if there is no Heart Disease. High if there is Heart Disease,
|130-159 mg/dL or||3.4-4.1 mmol/L|
- High if there is no Heart Disease. Very high if there is Heart Disease,
|160-189 mg/dL or||4.1-4.9 mmol/L|
- Very high,
|190 mg/dL and above or||Above 4.9 mmol/L|
|Below 40 mg/dL (men) or|
Below 50 mg/dL (women) or
|Below 40 mg/dL (men)|
Below 50 mg/dL (women)
|50-59 mg/dL or||1.3-1.5 mmol/L|
|60 mg/dL and above or||Above 1.5 mmol/L|
- Desirable, Below 150 mg/dL or Below 1.7 mmol/L.
- Borderline high, 150-199 mg/dL or 1.7-2.2 mmol/L
- High, 200-499 mg/dL or 2.3-5.6 mmol/L.
- Very high, 500 mg/dL and above or Above 5.6 mmol/L.
***Canadian and European guidelines differ slightly from U.S. guidelines. These conversions are based on U.S. guidelines.