LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is "bad" cholesterol,
which carries mostly fat and only a small amount of protein from the liver to
other parts of the body. A high LDL cholesterol level is considered a risk
factor for coronary artery disease (CAD) because, under certain conditions, it
can cause hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
is measured either in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or in
millimoles per liter of blood (mmol/L).
An LDL cholesterol level of less than 100 mg/dL
(less than 2.6 mmol/L) is considered optimal.
100 to 129 (2.6 to
3.35) is considered near optimal.
130 to 159 (3.35 to 4.10) is
considered borderline high.
160 to 189 (4.12 to 4.88) is considered
190 and above (4.90 and above) is considered very high.
People who have at least a moderate risk for developing
heart disease (especially those who have diabetes) may benefit from lowering
their LDL cholesterol levels. The specific target LDL level depends on a
person's number and type of risk factors.
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology & Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.