Causes of low and high HDL cholesterol

Cholesterol level is important for your heart and arterial health. Your doctor may recommend you to have a cholesterol  or lipid panel test to check your general cholesterol and lipid levels. Lipid panel test contains a group of blood tests as;

  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL -good cholesterol
  • LDL -bad cholesterol
  • Triglycerides

HDL and LDL are lipoproteins that transport the cholesterol in your body.HDL is called as good cholesterol because it transports the excess cholesterol from tissues to the liver. HDL protects your heart and arteries by this way. This transport process is called reverse transport of cholesterol. Here you can see the reference ranges of cholesterol and lipid panel blood test;

Cholesterol HDL and LDL normal ranges

hdl cholesterol

Total cholesterol reference ranges

  • Normal: < 200 mg/dL
  • Borderline: 200-240 mg/dL
  • High: > 240 mg/dL

LDL cholesterol reference ranges

  • Normal: < 130 mg/dL
  • Borderline: 130-159 mg/dL
  • High: > 160 mg/dL

HDL cholesterol reference ranges

  • Normal male: > 40 mg/dL
  • Normal female: > 50 mg/dL
  • High: > 60 mg/dL

Triglycerides reference ranges

  • Normal: < 150 mg/dL
  • Borderline high: 150-199 mg/dL
  • High: 200-499 mg/dL
  • Very high: > 500 mg/dL

Causes of high HDL good cholesterol

  • Familia hyper-alpha-lipoproteinemia
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Alcoholism

Causes of low HDL good cholesterol

hdl cholesterol

There are some lifestyle factors of low HDL level like inactive life style, obesity or diet and here you can see the diseases that may cause low HDL- good cholesterol. First 6 are the genetic diseases that cause low HDL level.

  • Familial-hypo-alpha-lipoproteinemia
  • Tangier disease
  • Fish-eye disease
  • Familial lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase deficiency (LCAT)
  • Familial cholesteryl ester transfer protein deficinecy
  • Familial HDL deficiency
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Cholestasis
  • Hepatocellular diseases
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • Malignancies


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