Cholesterol: What the Numbers Mean

Cholesterol, we know that there is good and bad cholesterol, but do you know what the numbers mean?

When you get cholesterol screening blood work done, you find out what your cholesterol numbers are. But what do those numbers actually mean?

According to Harvard Medical School, a cholesterol score of 200 or less puts you in the ‘healthy’ category. 200-239 may be considered troubling by some physicians. A score of 240+ puts you in the high cholesterol category. What is important to know about your score is how the numbers are broken down between the two kinds of cholesterol.

LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the bad cholesterol, which can clog blood vessels. The LDL score should be 100 or less.

HDL (High-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the ‘good’ cholesterol.  An HDL score of 60 and above is believed to help protect you from heart disease, while a score of 40 or less puts you at risk.

Experts recommend that people aged 20 and over get screened every 4-6 years, unless they are in the high risk category. Some even say that teenagers should get screened as well. There is still some debate about an ideal score and how it really affects your health. Also remember that everyone is different and there are various factors that contribute to high cholesterol, including genetics and family history.

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