Family history and whether or not you have other conditions, such as diabetes or obesity, play a role in your individual risk. Women. The lipoprotein profile includes: If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. The higher your HDL, the better. Men are generally at a higher risk than women for higher cholesterol. Manage High Triglycerides: Tips from the Experts. Try to add more fiber to your diet, such as replacing white bread and pasta with whole grains. Current guidelines recommend that all children have their cholesterol checked between ages 9 and 11, and then again between ages 17 and 21. The first thing you need to know is that the numbers by themselves are not enough to predict your risk of heart problems or to determine what you need to do to lower that risk. Your total blood cholesterol is a measure of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and other lipid components. They are, instead, one part of a larger equation that includes your age, your blood pressure, your smoking status, and your use of blood pressure medicines. Cholesterol in your bloodstream can build up in blood vessel walls, causing blockages that can lead to: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), having high cholesterol raises your risk for heart disease. All rights reserved. Talk to your healthcare provider about your cholesterol levels and ask what they think your numbers should be. SOURCES: The Cleveland Clinic Heart Center. Here's the breakdown. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. But having too much of the bad type of cholesterol — LDL — puts you at risk for having a heart attack or stroke. Keep reading to learn…. This is particularly true when it comes to high cholesterol. Experts recommend that men ages 35 and older and women ages 45 and older be more frequently screened for lipid disorders. You can purchase a testing kit online from LetsGetChecked here. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. As we age, cholesterol levels tend to climb. Good heart health is like a building block: It’s cumulative. HDL is considered “good” cholesterol because it helps protect you from heart disease. “One misconception is that people can have poorly controlled cholesterol for years and then decide to take action. The earlier you try to start making healthy lifestyle choices, the better off you can be as you get older. According to the 2018 guidelines on the management of blood cholesterol published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), these are the acceptable, borderline, and high measurements for adults. Vitamin F is not a vitamin in the traditional sense, but a term for two important fats. Recommended HDL range Typically, doctors recommend an HDL level of 60 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood or higher. HDL levels below 40 mg/dl for men and 50 mg/dl for women are thought to put you at a greater than average risk for heart disease. These are all fats that won’t raise your LDL levels. Children with more risk factors, such as having diabetes, obesity, or a family history of high cholesterol, should be checked between ages 2 and 8, and again between ages 12 and 16. HDL that falls within the range of 40 to 59 mg/dL … If your LDL is 190 or more, it is considered very high. Physical activity can help you lose weight and boost your HDL cholesterol. It’s like a train altering its course slightly, which leads to a big difference in its final destination. However, a woman’s risk goes up after she enters menopause. You may also need to take a statin even though your LDL level is lower than 190. Your doctor will most likely recommend a statin in addition to making healthy lifestyle choices. That's not so good. Reduce the amount of high-saturated fatty foods like: Smoking decreases HDL cholesterol. These are another type of fat that can build up in the body and are considered the “building blocks” of cholesterol. It consists of: LDL is also called “bad” cholesterol because it blocks your blood vessels and increases your risk for heart disease. Finally, total cholesterol includes a triglycerides count. Experts recommend that men ages 35 and older and women ages 45 and older be more frequently screened for lipid disorders.