Normal Cholesterol Level For Men

Q:

What is a normal cholesterol level for men?

A:

Everyone knows that keeping one’s cholesterol in check is important for heart health. High cholesterol is associated with clogged arteries and a greater chance of a heart attack. But you may be wondering: What exactly is a normal cholesterol level, and how do I get there?

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of lipid, a fat found in the bloodstream. Other important lipids are triglycerides. Your cholesterol and triglycerides make up your lipid profile, which can be checked in a standard blood test.

The main indicators you want to know are:

LDL cholesterol, known as the “bad” cholesterol because it’s the stuff that builds up as plaque in your arteries. High LDL could lead to a higher heart disease risk, and possibly blocked artery symptoms.

HDL cholesterol, called the “healthy cholesterol” because it helps remove some LDL cholesterol from the body. Low HDL may raise your risk of heart disease.

Triglycerides, which store unused calories for energy later. High triglyceride levels are associated with higher heart disease risk.

What Is a Normal Cholesterol Reading?

When you have your lipid profile measured in a blood test, you’ll receive separate numbers for LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. You should see how each number compares to a healthy cholesterol number range.

A healthy or normal LDL cholesterol level is less than 100 mg/dL. An LDL level of between 100 and 128 mg/dL is common, but above the optimal range. High LDL is anything at or above 160 mg/dL. If you’re at this level, you should probably be treated with a statin or other cholesterol-lowering drug.

Normal HDL levels are between 40 and 59 mg/dL, but an optimal score is anything above 60 mg/dL. While having a higher HDL level is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, it’s not clear whether improving your HDL with medications actually reduces your risk of a heart attack.

A healthy triglyceride level is less than 150 mg/dL. High triglycerides are 200 mg/dL or above.

In order to keep your heart healthy – and lower your chances of getting heart disease or having a stroke, you’d better have your cholesterol checked regularly.

* 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.