Normal Range Of Cholesterol Level: Maintain A Healthy Range



Published on: 06-Sep-2022


10 min read


Updated on : 02-Nov-2023




Kajal Tharwani


Normal Range Of Cholesterol Level: Maintain A Healthy Range

Normal Range Of Cholesterol Level: Maintain A Healthy Range

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Cholesterol  is an essential substance for the body. It is both good and bad! However, sometimes it can pose a silent danger that puts people at risk of a heart attack. Let us understand more about cholesterol and the factors that affect cholesterol levels. 

Table of Contents 

1. What Is Cholesterol?

2. What Are The Types Of Cholesterol? 

3. Range Of Cholesterol According To Age 

4. Normal Range Of Cholesterol Level

5. Factors That Affect Cholesterol Level 

6. What Causes High Cholesterol?

7. The Final Say 

8. FAQs

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol  is a type of lipid your body needs for good health but in the right amount. An unhealthy level can lead to a condition called  high blood cholesterol. 

American Heart Association (AHA) states, “ If you are over 20 years old, you should have your cholesterol checked every 4-6 years.”   

The screening test to check cholesterol levels is a blood test called a lipid profile. The experts recommend that men 35 years and older and women 45 years and older should be screened for lipid disorders more often. 

Cholesterol is essential for the body to 

  • Produce vitamin D
  • Form cell membranes
  • Help the liver make bile for digestion 

What Are The Types Of Cholesterol? 

Lipoproteins carry cholesterol in your blood. Its types are 

1. Low-density lipoprotein ( LDL). It is also known as bad cholesterol. 

2. High-density lipoprotein (HDL). It is also known as good cholesterol.

3. Very low-density lipoprotein ( VLDL). There are particles in the blood that carry triglycerides. 

Range According To Age 

Here is the chart showing the target cholesterol levels by age and sex. 


Age and sex










Men aged 20 years

and older

125 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL

Less than 130 mg/dL

Less than 100 mg/dL

40 mg/dL or higher

People aged 19 years

and younger

Less than 170 mg/dL

Less than 120 mg/dL

Less than 110 mg/dL

More than 45 mg/dL

Women aged 20 years

and older

125 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL

Less than 130 mg/dL

Less than 100 mg/dL

50 mg/dL or higher

Normal Range Of Cholesterol Level

Doctors classify a person’s cholesterol levels as high, low, or borderline by evaluating the health conditions. However, the normal range of cholesterol levels is: 

Total Cholesterol 

Cholesterol levels under 200mg/dl are considered healthy for adults. Doctors treat readings of 200-239 as borderline high and readings of at least 240 mg/dl as high.

LDL Cholesterol  

LDL ( Low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol level should be less than 100 mg/dl. Doctors do not express concern about 100-129 mg/dl levels for people with no health issues. However, they might suggest treatment for people with heart disease or its risk factors at this stage. 

HDL Cholesterol 

Doctors recommend keeping HDL cholesterol levels higher as it is good cholesterol. Having less than 40 mg/dl can develop a heart disease risk. The optimal HDL levels are 60mg/dl or higher. A reading between 41-59mg/dl is considered borderline low.

Cholesterol Level For Children 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Children should have a total cholesterol reading of under 170mg/dl.” However, the reading between 170-199 mg/dl is borderline high range, and the reading of 200 mg/dl or over is high. 

Factors That Affect Cholesterol Level 

The factors affecting your cholesterol level include: 

1. Diet 

Trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol increase the cholesterol level. Therefore, try to reduce the amount in your diet. It will help you reduce your cholesterol levels. 

2. Weight 

Being overweight obese  has many disadvantages. Like many problems, it also increases your triglycerides. However, managing the right weight may lower your triglyceride levels and will raise your good cholesterol. 

3. Exercise 

Shake your body for at least 30 minutes a day! Regular exercise can lower your cholesterol levels and will increase your HDL cholesterol. 

4. Age And Sex 

Before menopause, women tend to have low cholesterol levels than men of the same age. However, after menopause, women’s LDL levels tend to rise, and HDL can drop. 

5. Heredity 

Your genes decide how much cholesterol your body makes. So high blood cholesterol is usually hereditary. 

What Causes High Cholesterol?

An unhealthy lifestyle is the common cause of high cholesterol. It includes- 

1. Unhealthy Eating Habits 

Unhealthy eating is defined as eating a lot of fats. Some meats, dairy products, and deep-fried and processed foods contain saturated fats. Eating these bad fats can raise the bad cholesterol level in your body.   

2. Lack Of Physical Activity 

A lot of sitting and lack of physical activity lowers the good cholesterol level in the body.

3. Smoking 

Smoking is injurious to health! It lowers the HDL cholesterol level, especially in women.

4. Genetics 

Genetics are also responsible for causing high cholesterol. Familial hypercholesterolemia(FM) is an inherited form of high cholesterol. 

The Final Say

When considering cholesterol numbers, it is essential to remember that you can make those numbers go in your favour. What you eat, how active you are, and how you deal with life’s ups and downs matter the most. 


1. What changes should I make to the way I eat? 

Avoid junk food! Decreasing your consumption of saturated fats can reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

2. How often do I need to get my cholesterol level checked? 

Healthy adults should have their cholesterol checked every 4 to 6 years. However, people with heart disease or diabetes or a family history of high cholesterol need to check their cholesterol more often.

3. What could have caused my cholesterol to be high? Is it inherited? 

Familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited condition characterised by higher than normal levels of LDL blood cholesterol.

4. What are the dangers of having high cholesterol? 

With high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. Sometimes, those deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.

5. Can my HDL be too high?

Some people may have a high HDL level, resulting in a higher risk for coronary artery disease(CAD).


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