Skip to main content

Cholesterol levels - High cholesterol

About your cholesterol result

A cholesterol test can measure:

  • total cholesterol – the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both "good" and "bad" cholesterol
  • total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio (TC:HDL) – the level of good cholesterol in your blood compared to your overall cholesterol level
  • good cholesterol (called HDL) – this makes you less likely to have heart problems or a stroke
  • bad cholesterol (called LDL and non-HDL) – this makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke
  • triglycerides – a fatty substance similar to bad cholesterol

When you get your result, you may just be told your total cholesterol.

You might be able to get separate results for your good and bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and your total cholesterol to HDL ratio. Ask your doctor or nurse.

Check what your cholesterol levels should be

This is just a guide. The levels you should aim for might be different. Ask your doctor or nurse what your levels should be.

Healthy levels for different types of cholesterol.
Result Healthy level (mmol/L)
Total cholesterol 5 or below
HDL (good cholesterol) 1 or above
Non-HDL (bad cholesterol) 4 or below
Fasting triglycerides (when you're asked not to eat for several hours before the test) 1.7 or below
Non-fasting triglycerides (when you eat as normal before the test) 2.3 or below
Total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio 6 or below

Page last reviewed: 13 July 2022
Next review due: 13 July 2025