MSD Manual

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Desirable Lipid Levels in Adults*

Desirable Lipid Levels in Adults*


Desirable Level

Total cholesterol

Less than 200 mg/dL (5.1 mmol/L)†

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol

Less than 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L)

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol

More than 40 mg/dL (1 mmol/L)


Less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)

* These levels are a suggested guideline. Some people may need treatment even if their lipids are at these levels if they have risk factors or diseases such as coronary artery disease or stroke.

† mg/dL = milligrams per deciliter of blood; mmol/L = millimoles per liter of blood.