January 1, 2021

Hyperlipidemia is the primary causative factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases. It is a condition where there is an increased level of LDL or bad cholesterol and triglycerides and a decrease in HDL or good cholesterol.

Dietary modifications can improve serum lipids and reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. In a study conducted by Tracy et al in the year 2016 to study the effectiveness of a brief dietetic intervention on CVD risk factors in hyperlipidaemic adults, it was found that there was a considerable reduction in total cholesterol, triglycerides, total energy intake, total sodium intake, total HDL cholesterol and improvement in dietary fat quality, body mass index (BMI) after a dietary intervention of 6 weeks1.

The following are the ranges for lipid profile2,3,4

HDL CholesterolLow Level, Increased RiskAverage Level, Average RiskHigh Level, Less than Average Risk
WomenLess than 50 mg/dL50-59 mg/dl60 mg/dL or higher
MenLess than 40 mg/dL40-50 mg/dL60 mg/dL or higher

Reference Range For Blood Lipids in Adults

TestOptimal or DesirableNear/Above OptimalBorderline HighHighVery High
LDL CholesterolLess than 100 mg/dL; with CVD or diabetes: less than 70 mg/dL (1.81 mmol/L)100-129 mg/dL130-159 mg/dL160-189 mg/dLGreater than 190 mg/dL
Total CholesterolLess than 200 mg/dL200-239 mg/dL240 mg/dL or higher
Fasting TriglyceridesLess than 150 mg/dL150-199 mg/dL200-499 mg/dLGreater than 500 mg/dL
Non-HDL CholesterolLess than 130 mg/dL130-159 mg/dL160-189 mg/dL190-219 mg/dLGreater than 220 mg/dL

Reference Range For Blood Lipids For Children And Young Adults

Age GroupTestAcceptable (mg/dL)Borderline (mg/dL)High (mg/dL)
Children and Teens (ages 2 to 18)Total CholesterolLess than 170170-199Greater than or equal to 200
Non-HDL CholesterolLess than 120120-144Greater than or equal to 145
Young Adults (ages 19 to 24)Total CholesterolLess than 190190-224Greater than or equal to 225
Non-HDL CholesterolLess than 150150-189Greater than or equal to 190


  1. Schumacher, T. L., Burrows, T. L., Rollo, M. E., Spratt, N. J., Callister, R., & Collins, C. E. (2016). Effectiveness of a Brief Dietetic Intervention for Hyperlipidaemic Adults Using Individually-Tailored Dietary Feedback. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 4(4), 75.

  2. Smith et al, Lab tests online; American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC)2001-2020.

  3. Wintrobe's Clinical Hematology. 14th ed. Greer J, editor. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer: 2019.

  4. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. McPherson R, Pincus M, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011.

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