The total level of cholesterol in the blood is important. But to help the Doctors determine the best treatments for a person’s High Cholesterol, the level of LDL, HDL, and triglycerides are also considered.
There are 3 well-known tests to get the cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Simple cholesterol test
- Direct LDL test
- Fasting cholesterol test
Simple cholesterol test
This test tells you if you have high cholesterol. A simple cholesterol test can measure total cholesterol and HDL. You can eat before this test. This is usually the initial test most doctors do to determine high cholesterol.
Direct LDL test
This test measures the LDL level only. No fasting is required for this test so you can take this test at any time.
Fasting cholesterol test
This test is called a fasting test because it strictly requires no food intake for 9 to 12 hours before the examination. Fasting cholesterol test is also known as lipoprotein analysis which a more thorough test compared to Simple cholesterol test and Direct LDL test. This test measures the total cholesterol including the LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels
The meaning of Cholesterol values
Cholesterol values are usually measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). The following will help you understand the results of your cholesterol tests.
High – 240 or above
Borderline-high – 200 to 239
Best – Less than 200
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor will want to know your LDL and HDL levels before deciding whether you need treatment and what sort of treatment you need. Your total cholesterol number shows if your cholesterol is too high.
LDL (bad) cholesterol
Very high – 190 and above
High – 160 to 189
Borderline-high – 130 to 159
Near best – 100 to 129
Best – Below 100
You want your LDL level to be low. But how low your LDL should be depends on your risk of heart attack. This table shows the LDL levels for someone with an average risk of heart attack. Your LDL goal may be lower if your heart attack risk is higher than average. Your doctor will help decide what your LDL goal is and if you need any treatment to lower your LDL. The higher your risk of heart attack, the lower your LDL goal.
HDL (good) cholesterol
Bad – Below 40
Good – 40 or higher
Best – 60 or higher protects against heart disease
You want your HDL level to be high. HDL cholesterol goals are different for men and women. But for everyone, it’s better to have high HDL. HDL over 60 helps protect against a heart attack. HDL below 40 increases your risk of heart problems. A high HDL number can help offset a high LDL number.
Normal Less than 150
Borderline-high 150 to 199
High 200 to 499
Very high 500 or higher
You want your triglyceride level to be low.
CRP test or also known as C-reactive protein test can also be done specially for people who are at risk of getting coronary artery disease. This examination may be done even if you have normal or low LDL cholesterol. A special type of CRP test, the high-sensitivity CRP test, can help find out your chance of having a sudden heart problem, such as a heart attack.
Some diseases like Hypothyroidism are a known cause of High Cholesterol. So a person may need other tests to find out if there are other health issues affecting their cholesterol levels.