How to calculate total cholesterol level

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 30, 2017

High cholesterol levels are bad for your body but you need to know the difference between the good cholesterol, bad cholesterol and related elements of your blood. While low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are the bad ones that result in build up of plaque in your body leading to blockages of the arteries that cause heart attacks and strokes. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) help to remove the bad cholesterol from the body while triglycerides are the fatty building blocks of LDL.

A simple blood test would give you the levels of all three, i.e. HDL, LDL and triglycerides in your body. You should understand that cholesterol is a very useful substance for your body. It helps to produce bile acids which are important for the metabolism of fat. It is high cholesterol level that is harmful. Thus, the cholesterol value should be maintained ideally at around 200 mg/dl.

The following simple steps should give you your cholesterol level:

  • Fix an appointment with the doctor for testing your HDL, LDL and triglycerides level. Make sure that you take the test after fasting for 9 hours. Otherwise, the result would be inaccurate.
  • After getting the results, divide your triglycerides count by 5. So, if your triglyceride level detected is 100 mg/dl, you will get 20 after division.
  • Add this to the result obtained for HDL and LDL levels in your blood test.

If you find your result to be between 200 and 240 mg/dl, you run a moderate risk of heart attack. If your result is below 200 mg/dl, the condition is stable as it is the ideal level. If your cholesterol level is beyond 240 mg/dl, it is associated with a high risk of heart disease and stroke.

Taken independently, LDL count lower than 100 mg/dl is ideal. Between 100 and 120, it is optimal. A LDL level between 130 and 159 mg/dl is borderline case for diseases such as heart attack and stroke. The doctors further make a distinction between the levels ranging from 160 to 189, and 189 and above as high and extremely high respectively.

The independent HDL level is ideal if it is more than 60 mg/dl. Between 40 and 59 mg/dl, you carry a high risk of heart disease.

Thus, you can calculate the total cholesterol level and evaluate your condition based on that, as well as monitor it based on the individual levels HDL, LDL and triglycerides.


Image source: Getty



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