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A 60-year-old female asked:

Should i be concerned if my cholesterol is 218 and my ldl is 140?

5 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Luis Villaplana
Internal Medicine 35 years experience
Not likely: Your cholesterol profile/levels are one of several important parameters when it comes to premature heart disease. It's like trying to answer a question without knowing all the facts. Age, sex, smoking status, diabetes, family history, blood pressure are all factors that when added together will tell your doctor were should your LDL be.
Dr. Robert Beck
Family Medicine 33 years experience
Mildly: A total cholesterol of 218 is mildly elevated and a LDL is borderline elevated if you have no other risk factors for heart disease like a BP over 140/90, a HDL under 45, smoking, or diabetes. If you don't have these risk factors the primary therapy is diet and exercise.
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Family Medicine 19 years experience
Depends: Goals depend on risk factors. For example, a person with heart disease or diabetes has a goal LDL < 100. A healthy young person may be fine with LDL 130. If you have no other health concerns, lifestyle changes (diet exercise, etc) my be sufficient for a 140 LDL . See www.Nhlbi.Nih.Gov/guidelines/cholesterol/atglance.Pdf for the full guidelines.
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Family Medicine 19 years experience
Provided original answer
Dec 30, 2011
Dr. William Cromwell
Clinical Lipidology 34 years experience
Depends on Particles: In addition to these answers, you should have LDL particle number (ldl-p) checked. Ldl cholesterol (ldl-c) is commonly used to "estimate" the number of LDL particles. However, because the amount of cholesterol carried inside LDL is so variable, ldl-c often underestimates ldl-p. When ldl-c and ldl-p differ substantially, numerous studies show cardiovascular risk tracks with ldl-p, not ldl-c.
Dr. James Chapman
Cardiology 41 years experience
Depend: Your ideal level for LDL depends on your other risk factors for heart disease. Healthy with no risk factors, LDL should be <130, which you can probably reach with diet and exercise. If you have risk factors, your LDL should be less than 100, and if you already have some documented blockage issue, ideal LDL would be <70. Check with your doctor.

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Last updated Jul 10, 2018

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