Cholesterol levels are measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood (mmol/L). As a guide, these are the values healthy adults should aim for:
|Total cholesterol||Below 5|
|Non-HDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol||Below 4|
|LDL cholesterol||Below 3|
|HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol||Above 1 for men and 1.2 for women|
|TC:HDL ratio||The lower the better – above 6 is considered a high risk|
It’s important to realise these values are only a guide and your doctor or nurse may recommend different levels for you, depending on other risk factors you have for cardiovascular disease such as smoking or being overweight, and other medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
When you get the results of your blood test, you may only be given the value for total cholesterol, but you can always ask for the values for ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol, as well as your triglycerides levels.