Cholesterol Level Facts
Men aged 35 or older and women who are aged 45 and older should both have their cholesterol
levels checked on a yearly basis. You may have to have it checked more than yearly if you have other risk factors
for heart disease.
Your cholesterol level tells a story about your health. There are many things that you should know about when to
check your level and how often.
You should also know what to do once you know what your cholesterol level is.
Men aged 35 or older and women who are aged 45 and older should both have their cholesterol levels checked on a
You may have to have it checked more than yearly if you have other risk factors for heart disease.
Some other risk factors for heart disease are: If you have already had one or more heart attacks, being a male
older than 45 or being a female older than 55, being a female and going through or having already completed
menopause, if you have an immediate family member (parent or sibling) who had a heart disease, if you smoke
cigarettes, have high blood pressure, have diabetes, are overweight or are obese, and also if you are inactive.
You should know that there are different types of cholesterol. Cholesterol is a substance that travels through
our bloodstream in different packages, which are called "lipoproteins".
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are substances that carry cholesterol to the body.
The LDL is labeled as the "bad cholesterol" because they are the primary cholesterol carriers. When there is too much LDL in your bloodstream they build up on the walls of your arteries and that that is what leads to plaque (a thick, hard substance) leading to your heart and brain that can be responsible for heart attacks and strokes.
High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are substances that remove cholesterol from the bloodstream. In other words it
gets rid of the bad cholesterol (LDL).
What is your total cholesterol level? This is the total for both your LDL and your HDL. The desired level of
total cholesterol is less than 200.
If your total cholesterol level is between 200 and 239 than you have borderline high cholesterol. If your total
cholesterol level is 240 or more this means that you are at an increased risk for heart disease.
What are your LDL cholesterol levels? These are your "bad" cholesterol level and you want it to be low.
Below 100 is ideal for those who have a higher number of risk factors for heart disease. If your level is 100 to
129 than this is ideal for the average individual.
If your level is 130 to 159 than this indicates a borderline high level and if your number is 160 or more
than this means that you have a higher than normal risk for heart disease.
What are your HDL cholesterol levels? These are your "good" cholesterol level and you want it to be high.
If your HDL cholesterol level is less than 40 than it means that you are at high risk for heart disease. If you
have a level that is 60 or higher this is good, as it will reduce your risk for heart disease.
Now that you know your cholesterol levels and what they mean you can use the information to make better
lifestyle choices such as to stop smoking if you smoke and to lose weight if you are overweight and also to
actively exercise daily according to the recommendations of your doctor.