General Question

beachwriter's avatar

How do you interpret an HDL reading from a blood test?

Asked by beachwriter (358 points ) August 6th, 2010

I know HDL (high density lipoprotein) is the “good” cholesterol, but what does a reading of 84.4 mean? Is a higher number better, or lower?

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10 Answers

skfinkel's avatar

For HDL, the higher the better. I am not a doctor. Perhaps it can get too high—since it is looped in with the overall cholesterol number. But I think that would be considered a very good number. Shouldn’t your doctor explain this to you?

syz's avatar

The American Heart Association has a very nice description of how to interpret cholesterol levels.

gondwanalon's avatar

You need to consider your total cholesterol and HDL ratio which should be less than 4 to 1. If your total cholesterol is 380mg/dL and your HDL is 84.4 then your total cholesterol to HDL would be 4.5 to 1 wich is an indicator of a higher risk for heart disease. If your total cholesterol is 200 then your total cholesterol and HDL ratio would be 2.4 to 1 and that is very good. Of course you need to also be be aware of your LDL and triglyceride levels.

gailcalled's avatar

Here are my most recent numbers, from several weeks ago.

Total cholesterol: 203

Triglycerides: 90 <150 range

HDL 69: optimal

LDL 116: <100 129> near optimal

Ratio: 2.94

beachwriter's avatar

I see, so the numbers need to be in context. I have
Cholesterol 208
HDL 84.4
LDL 111
VLDL 11
Triglycerides 59
Chol/HDL Ratio 2.46
LDL/HDL Ratio 1.31

I hope that’s fairly healthy! Thanks for the replies.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I only know the answer mmol’s

shilolo's avatar

@beachwriter Your values are outstanding and predict a significantly reduced risk of heart disease. Keep up the good work, including lots of exercise, which raises the HDL.

Flavio's avatar

i always look at the hdl to ldl ratio, but take into consideration other health issues, family history, and current lifestyle.

beachwriter's avatar

@shilolo Thank you for that interpretation. I think my doc would agree. I’m not totally thrilled with cholesterol at 208 and would like to see that <200. I exercise & have a decent diet. Other than reducing fats & eating oatmeal, what other changes can lower cholesterol?

dalia's avatar

The normal HDL cholesterol level should be higher than 40. As yours is 84.4, it is great. Keep it up.

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