Understanding Cholesterol Blood Test Results

Written by amy s. jorgensen Google
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A lipid profile or panel is a complete cholesterol test, measuring the total amount of cholesterol, the HDL cholesterol, the LDL cholesterol and the triglycerides in your blood. The results are written in mg/dl, meaning the number of milligrams of the substance tested found in each decilitre of blood.

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What Doctors Are Looking For

The doctor wants to see if you have high cholesterol and high triglycerides. This shows if you are a high risk for heart disease, atherosclerosis, a heart attack or a stroke.

Total Cholesterol

This is all the blood cholesterol content summed up together. The categories are: Desirable (less than 200 mg/dl), Borderline High Risk (200 to 239 mg/dl) and High Risk (240 mg/dl and higher).

The HDL

This is the "good" cholesterol that helps get rid of the LDL cholesterol by keeping the artery walls clean so the blood can flow freely. The HDL categories are: Best (60 mg/dl and higher), Average (40 to 59 mg/dl) and Major Risk Factor for Heart Disease (40 mg/dl and below).

The LDL

This is the "bad" cholesterol. Having too much LDL in your blood can lead to a possible stroke or heart attack. The categories for the LDL are: Best (less than 100 mg/dl), near best (100-129 mg/dl), borderline high (130 to 159 mg/dl), high (160 to 189 mg/dl) and very high (190 mg/dl and higher).

Triglycerides

These are a type of fat found in the blood. High levels mean you are eating more calories than your body can burn, usually by consuming too many sweets or too much alcohol. The categories are: Normal (up to 150 mg/dl), Borderline high (150 to 199 mg/dl), High (200 to 499 mg/dl) and Very High (above 500 mg/dl).

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