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Because it matters…Heart disease awareness


Dr.Armughan Riaz
M.B.B.S, Dip Card
Consultant Cardiologist


Normal Cholesterol Level

What is a Normal Cholesterol Level. Normal Cholesterol range number values table ratio reading levels in men women and children.

Normal Cholesterol Level

I have often asked by my patients about normal cholesterol level, range, numbers, reading, count and normal cholesterol ratio in men, women. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) has published definitions regarding high and normal cholesterol levels and values. These were endorsed by the American Heart Association and other health organizations and are shown in the table below.

LDL cholesterol is the most important indicator for your risk of atherosclerosis or a hardening of the arteries, and eventually heart disease or stroke so specific target levels or the recommended cholesterol values you should try to maintain, are established only for LDL or "bad" cholesterol.

Table Of Normal Cholesterol Level 




Total cholesterol


< 200

< 5.1

borderline high

200 - 239

5.1 - 6.1


> 239

> 6.1

LDL cholesterol - the "bad" cholesterol


< 100

< 2.6

near/above optimum

100 - 129

2.6 - 3.3

borderline high

130 - 159

3.3 - 4.1


160 - 189

4.1 - 4.8

very high

> 189


HDL cholesterol - the "good" cholesterol

low (undesirable!)*

< 40

< 1.0

high (desirable!)

> 60

> 1.5

Serum triglycerides


< 150


borderline high

150 - 199

1.7 - 2.2


200 - 499

2-2 - 5.6

very high

> 499

> 5.6

* The American Heart Association sets different thresholds for HDL cholesterol in men (< 40 mg/dL = low) and women (< 50mg/dL = low), a discrimination that the National Cholesterol Education Program no longer makes.

The values in the above table are indicated in milligrams per deciliter blood (mg/dL) and millimole/liter (mmol/L). The unit mg/dL is common in the US, whereas mmol/L is generallly used in the rest of the world.

The ratio of Total cholesterol / HDL cholesterol should be 4.0 – 6.0 (for males) and 3.7 – 5.7 (for females). The total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio is a number that is helpful in predicting an individual's risk of developing atherosclerosis and heart disease. The number is obtained by dividing the total cholesterol value by the value of the HDL cholesterol. (High ratios indicate higher risks of heart attacks, low ratios indicate lower risk).

High total cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol increases the ratio, and is undesirable. Conversely, high HDL cholesterol and low total cholesterol lowers the ratio, and is desirable. Since LDL cholesterol can damage your arteries and HDL cholesterol helps your arteries, this ratio is a good indicator of the potential of cholesterol, in general, to help or hurt your arteries. Additionally, there are separate guidelines for male and female – recognizing the inherent differences in women’s and men’s bodies.


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