Total cholesterol is the sum of all cholesterol measured in a
person's blood. This total includes high-density lipoprotein (HDL),
which is sometimes called the "good cholesterol," and low-density lipoprotein
(LDL), sometimes called the "bad cholesterol," and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL).
Cholesterol is measured either in milligrams per deciliter of blood
(mg/dL) or in millimoles per liter of blood (mmol/L).
A total cholesterol level of less than 200
mg/dL (5.17 mmol/L) is desirable.
200 to 239 mg/dL (5.17 to 6.18
mmol/L) is considered borderline high cholesterol.
240 mg/dL (6.21
mmol/L) or higher is considered high cholesterol.
The ratio of total cholesterol to "good" (HDL) cholesterol is also
important, especially if total cholesterol is high.
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Carl Orringer, MD - Cardiology, Clinical Lipidology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.