What Are the Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Cholesterol?High blood cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. Thus, many people don't know that their cholesterol levels are too high.
If you're 20 years old or older, have your cholesterol levels checked at least once every 5 years.
The lipoprotein panel will give your doctor information about your:
- Total cholesterol. Total cholesterol is a measure of the total amount of cholesterol in your blood, including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
- LDL cholesterol. LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol is the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockages in the arteries.
- HDL cholesterol. HDL, or “good,” cholesterol helps remove cholesterol from your arteries.
- Triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. Some studies suggest that a high level of triglycerides in the blood may raise the risk of coronary heart disease, especially in women.
Testing for total and HDL cholesterol does not require fasting. If your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or more, or if your HDL cholesterol is less than 40 mg/dL, your doctor will likely recommend that you have a lipoprotein panel. (Cholesterol is measured as milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood.)
The tables below show total, LDL, and HDL cholesterol levels and their corresponding categories. See how your cholesterol numbers compare to the numbers in the tables below.
|Total Cholesterol Level||Total Cholesterol Category|
|Less than 200 mg/dL||Desirable|
|200–239 mg/dL||Borderline high|
|240 mg/dL and higher||High|
|LDL Cholesterol Level||LDL Cholesterol Category|
|Less than 100 mg/dL||Optimal|
|100–129 mg/dL||Near optimal/above optimal|
|130–159 mg/dL||Borderline high|
|190 mg/dL and higher||Very high|
|HDL Cholesterol Level||HDL Cholesterol Category|
|Less than 40 mg/dL||A major risk factor for heart disease|
|40–59 mg/dL||The higher, the better|
|60 mg/dL and higher||Considered protective against heart disease|
Factors that can raise your triglyceride level include:
- Overweight and obesity
- Lack of physical activity
- Cigarette smoking
- Excessive alcohol use
- A very high carbohydrate diet
- Certain diseases and medicines
- Some genetic disorders