Cholesterol Levels

NHS

A cholesterol test can measure:

  • total cholesterol – the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both "good" and "bad" cholesterol
  • total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio (TC:HDL) – the level of good cholesterol in your blood compared to your overall cholesterol level
  • good cholesterol (called HDL) – this makes you less likely to have heart problems or a stroke
  • bad cholesterol (called LDL and non-HDL) – this makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke
  • triglycerides – a fatty substance similar to bad cholesterol

When you get your result, you may just be told your total cholesterol.

You might be able to get separate results for your good and bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and your total cholesterol to HDL ratio. Ask your doctor or nurse.

Check what your cholesterol levels should be

This is just a guide. The levels you should aim for might be different. Ask your doctor or nurse what your levels should be.

Healthy levels for different types of cholesterol

Result

Healthy level (mmol/L)

Total cholesterol

5 or below

HDL (good cholesterol)

1 or above

Non-HDL (bad cholesterol)

4 or below

Fasting triglycerides (when you're asked not to eat for several hours before the test)

1.7 or below

Non-fasting triglycerides (when you eat as normal before the test)

2.3 or below

Total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio

6 or below

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