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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Tests and Exams > LDL: Results and Values
      Category : Health Centers > Cholesterol


Alternate Names : Low-Density Lipoprotein

LDL | Preparation & Expectations | Results and Values

What do the test results mean?

LDL results in healthy adults are evaluated as follows:

  • optimal is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL
  • near optimal/above optimal is 100 to 129 mg/dL
  • borderline high is 130 to 159 mg/dL
  • high is 160 to 189 mg/dL
  • very high is 190 mg/dL or greater
  • If an individual has certain other risk factors, LDL goals are more strict. LDL goals for these groups are as follows:

  • less than 100 mg/dL for people with CHD and CHD risk equivalents
  • less than 130 mg/dL for individuals with two or more risk factors
  • less than 160 mg/dL for people with 0 to 1 risk factor
  • Abnormally high levels of LDL may indicate the following:

  • atherosclerosis
  • biliary cirrhosis, which is scarring and blockage of the bile ducts
  • diet high in cholesterol, saturated fats, calories, or trans fats
  • familial hyperlipidemia, a condition in which having high blood lipids runs in a family
  • heart attack
  • high stress
  • hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland
  • lack of exercise
  • nephrotic syndrome, which is a kidney disease resulting in loss of protein in the urine
  • overweight or obesity
  • uncontrolled diabetes
  • Abnormally low levels of LDL may indicate the following:

  • hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid gland
  • liver disease
  • malabsorption, or inadequate absorption of nutrients from the intestines
  • malnutrition

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    LDL: Preparation & Expectations


    Author: David T. Moran, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 05/23/01

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