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What is the Normal Range of Cholesterol Levels?

What is the Normal Range of Cholesterol Levels?

Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance that is in all the cells of the bodies of patients. The same is found in some foods, especially in dairy products and meat. The body uses it to build cells, but too much of it can cause several heath problems for children and adults alike. In this article, we discuss what is the normal range of cholesterol levels, as well as the complications that come with high cholesterol levels.

What’s the Best Diet To Lower Cholesterol?

Different Types of Cholesterol

We know that too much Cholesterol is bad, but how do we know what too much is? Before we get to that, it is worth distinguishing the different kinds of cholesterol:

LDL (Bad Cholesterol). Low-density lipoprotein is the type of cholesterol that builds up and creates a blockage in the patient’s arteries.

HDL (Good Cholesterol). High-density Lipoprotein serves to absorb and transport cholesterol back to the liver, causing the removal of said cholesterol from the body.

Non-HDL. The sum of a patient’s total cholesterol count minus the total amount of HDL cholesterol in the patient’s blood.

Total Cholesterol. This simply refers to the totality of a patient’s cholesterol count in the blood, including LDL and HDL.

Normal Range of Cholesterol levels

Now, what is the normal range of cholesterol levels in blood? A normal or healthy cholesterol range differs based on one’s sex and age. Also, cholesterol numbers are measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). In summary, any patient’s Cholesterol levels may be considered as normal if the cholesterol numbers are within the following ranges:

Individuals aged 19 or below, regardless of sex:

Total Cholesterol Less than 170mg/dL
Non-HDL Less than 120mg/dL
LDL Less than 100mg/dL
HDL More than 45mg/dL

Men aged 20 or older:

Total Cholesterol 125 to 200mg/dL
Non-HDL Less than 130mg/dL
LDL Less than 100mg/dL
HDL 40mg/dL or higher

Women aged 20 or older:

Total Cholesterol 125 to 200mg/dL
Non-HDL Less than 130mg/dL
LDL Less than 100mg/dL
HDL 50mg/dL or higher

10 Ways to Prevent Atherosclerosis

Risk Factors & Symptoms of Unhealthy Cholesterol Levels

Having too much cholesterol or not having enough of a specific type of cholesterol (namely HDL) can result in serious health problems. The most prevalent issues arising from unhealthy cholesterol levels are identified as:

Atherosclerosis. This is a condition that occurs when the blood vessels of a patient’s body become thick and stiff, to the point of restricting blood flow. Atherosclerosis is known as a specific type of arteriosclerosis; however, atherosclerosis specifically refers to the accumulation or buildup of cholesterol and fat (or plaque) in and on the artery walls. This increases the patient’s risk of blood clots. This condition can affect a patient’s arteries anywhere in the body.

Hypercholesterolemia. This is also known as high cholesterol. Symptoms do not usually appear in the patient until atherosclerosis causes severe narrowing of the arteries. A common symptom of such is angina, a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. Other symptoms may include decreased blood supply to the brain and other organs and the risk of coronary artery disease, which is caused by the blockage of the coronary arteries.

Prevention & Treatment

The most reliable way to prevent cholesterol-related problems is to follow a healthy diet that is low in total cholesterol and LDL. This should complement daily exercise, as well as regular check-ups with one’s doctor to check if one falls under the normal range of cholesterol levels. It is also worth noting that it is necessary to avoid certain foods, such as processed foods (especially those containing saturated fats) and to opt for fresher options.

Consult your doctor for cholesterol-managing medication, as prescriptions usually take a patient’s risk for stroke and heart problems into account.

Key Takeaway

Since it is possible for patients to have severe levels of cholesterol without suffering symptoms, it is important to go for regular checkups with your doctor. The normal range of cholesterol levels is 125-170 mg/dL.

Learn more about Heart Health here.

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Written by Kip Soliva Updated Dec 28, 2020
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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