American Heart Association guidelines for good and bad cholesterol


Q: My cholesterol is: Total: 270 Triglycerides: 83 HDL: 98 LDL 155 I'm concerned because the total cholesterol is high, but my doctor isn't because the HDL/LDL ratio is good, and the triglycerides are low. Should I be concerned?


A:   According to the American Heart Association the desirable Total cholesterol level is <200 mg/dL. Your total cholesterol level is 270mg/dL which is in the high risk category. With HDL (good) cholesterol, higher levels are better. An HDL cholesterol of 60 mg/dL or higher gives some protection against heart disease. Your HDL level is 98mg/dL and is therefore cardio-protective. The lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, the lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. In fact, it's a better gauge of risk than total blood cholesterol and your level is between 130 to 159 mg/dL at 155, which is Borderline High. Triglyceride is another form of fat. If your level is <150 mg/dL it is normal and in your case it is 83mg/dL which is well below normal. On balance, even though your total cholesterol is high, it is predominantly made up of good rather than bad cholesterol, which is cardio-protective. You can help to lower bad cholesterol levels further by eating a heart-healthy diet, avoiding smoking and getting regular physical exercise.

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