Lipid Profile: Reference Range

Lipid profile, also called lipid panel, is a blood test to check lipid levels. Lipid are fats that cannot dissolve in blood. A more common name for lipid is cholesterol. If your lipid levels are high, you may have serious health conditions, such as heart disease and heart attack or stroke.

Lipid profile, also called lipid panel, is a blood test to check lipid levels. Lipid are fats that cannot dissolve in blood. A more common name for lipid is cholesterol. If your lipid levels are high, you may have serious health conditions, such as heart disease and heart attack or stroke.

A lipid profile includes:

  • Total cholesterol. It is the main number used for cholesterol values.
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol. It carries cholesterol and deposits it in the arteries.
  • HDL (good) cholesterol. It removes cholesterol from the body.
  • Triglycerides. Triglycerides are a different kind of fat than cholesterol.

Reference range

Total cholesterol  
Goal 200 mg/dL
Borderline high 200 to 239 mg/dl
High 240 mg/dL or higher
LDL (bad) cholesterol  
Goal 100 mg/dL or lower
Near goal 100 to 129 mg/dL
Borderline high 130 to 159 mg/dL
High 160 to 189 mg/dL
Very high 190 mg/dL or higher
HDL (good) cholesterol  
Goal 60 mg/dL or higher
Borderline risk 40 to 59 mg/dL
High risk 40 mg/dL or lower
Triglycerides  
Goal 150 mg/dL or lower
Borderline high 150 to 199 mg/dL
High 200 to 499 mg/dL
Very high 500 mg/dL or higher

You are considered to be at an elevated risk for heart diseases if you have:

  • A history of a cardiac arrest or a stroke
  • Artery blockages in the neck or the carotid artery disease
  • Artery blockages in the legs/arms or the peripheral artery disease

Moreover, if you have two or more of the following risk factors, you will be at a very high risk:

  • Diabetes
  • A history of premature heart ailments in the family
  • Low levels of HDL cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated levels of lipoprotein (a)
  • An increased age of 45 years or above for men and 55 years or above for women

If the results of your test are abnormal, your doctor may recommend treatment to reduce your risk of heart disease. Treatment may include dietary changes, lifestyle changes and medications such as statins.


Keywords: lipid profile; lipid panel.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.