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2/8/09 4:55 P

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Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood inthe United States and some other countries. Canada and most European countries measure cholesterol in millimoles (mmol) per liter (L) of blood. Consider these general guidelines when you get your lipid panel (cholesterol test) results back to see if your cholesterol falls in optimal levels.

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Total cholesterol (US Numbers)
below 200 mg/dL = desirable
200-239 mg/dL = borderline high
240 mg/dL and above = high

Total cholesterol (Canada Numbers)
Below 5.2 mmol/L = desirable
5.2 - 6.2 mmol/L = borderline high
Above 6.2 mmol/L = high

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LDL cholesterol (bad one) US Numbers
Below 70 mg/dL = optimal for people at very high risk of heart disease
Below 100 mg/dL = Optimal for people at risk of heart disease
100-129 mg/dL = near optimal
130 - 159 mg/dL = boderline high
160 - 189 mg/dL = high
190 mg/dL and above = very high

LDL cholesterol (bad one) Canada numbers
below 1.8 mmol/L = optimal for people at very high risk of heart disease
below 2.6 mmol/L = optimal for people at risk of heart disease
2.6 - 3.3 mmol/L = near optimal
3.5-4.1 mmol/L = borderline high
4.1 - 4.9 mmol/L = high
above 4.9 mmol/L = very high

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HDL Cholesterol (Good one) USA Numbers
below 40 mg/dL (men) below 50 mg/dL (women) = poor
50-59 mg/dL = better
60 mg/dL and above = best

HDL Cholesterold (Good One) Canada numbers
below 1 mmol/L (men) below 1/3 mmol/L (women) = poor
1.3 - 1.5 mmol/L = better
above 1.5 mmol/L = better

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Triglycerides USA numbers
below 150 mg/dL = desirable
150 - 199 mg/dL = borderline high
200 - 499 mg/dL = high
500 mg/dL and above = very high

Triglycerides Canada numbers
below 1.7 mmol/L = desirable
1.7 - 2.2 mmol/L = boderline high
2.3 - 5.6 mmol/L = high
500 mmol/L = very high

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LDL Taragets differ
Becuase LDL cholesterol has a major association with heart disease, it's the main focus of cholesterol-lowering treatment. But it's not as simple as the charge may appear. Your taraget LDL number can vary, depending on yoru underlying risk of heart disease. Most people should aim for anLDL level below 130 mg/dL (US Numbers) / 3.4 mmol/L (Canada numbers). If you have other risk factors for heart disease, your target LDL may be below 100 mg/dL (US) / 2.6 mmol/L (Canada. If you're at very high risk of heart disease, y ou may need to aimf or an LDL level below 70 mg/dL (US) / 1.8 mmol/L (Canada)
So who's considered at very high risk? If y ou've had a heart attack or if you have diabetes or carotid or peripheral vascular disease, you're at very high risk. In addition, two or more of the following risk factors might also place you in the very high risk group:
** smoking
** high blood pressure
** low HDL cholesterol
** family history of early heart disease
** age older than 45 if you're a man, or older than 55 if you're a woman
** elevated lipoprotein (a)


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