What is a normal cholesterol level?

What is a normal cholesterol level?

Below are norms for total cholesterol and “good” and “bad” cholesterol.

Total cholesterol

Optimal (desirable) cholesterol

Less than 200 mg/dL

Borderline high hisk

200–239 mg/dL

High Risk

240 mg/dL and higher

In general, individuals in the high risk category have two times the risk of heart disease compared to those with an optimal level of total cholesterol.

HDL (good) Cholesterol

Optimal (desirable)

40-60 mg/dL

The higher your HDL cholesterol, the better. A level of 60 or more is considered to protect your heart. An HDL level below 40 is considered low.

LDL (bad) Cholesterol

Optimal (desirable)

Less than 100mg/dL

Borderline high

130-159 mg/dL


160-189 mg/dL

Very high

190 mg/dL or higher

In general, the lower your LDL cholesterol, the lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Individual recommendations for cholesterol levels may vary depending on your current health conditions, risk factors for heart disease, stroke or other diseases, and if you are taking certain medications.

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