High cholesterol is a bad thing no matter what part of the world you're in, although the the means of measure can differ depending on location. The United States uses one measurement system, while European countries use another.
United States Measurement
In the United States, and several other parts of the world, cholesterol is measured in milligrams of cholesterol per decilitre of blood. A total cholesterol level of less than 200 is considered good.
In Canada and most of Europe, cholesterol is measured in millimoles per litre of blood. A cholesterol level below 5.2 is preferred.
Converting to European Method
If you have a cholesterol reading in milligrams of cholesterol per decilitre, you can quickly convert it to millimoles per litre. Simply divide your cholesterol level by 38.6598.
Converting to United States Method
Likewise, if you have a cholesterol reading in millimoles per litre, you can convert it to milligrams per decilitre by multiplying by 38.6598.
To get the most reliable cholesterol results, you should fast for a minimum of ten hours before a blood test is taken. Some physicians will ask you to fast for 12 hours beforehand.