University of Colorado Health
Contact Us Directions Employees Physicians
Poudre Valley Health System Guests and Visitors Hospitals and Clinics Community UCHealth Jobs Classes and Events Foundation and Volunteers Health library
Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr
At a Glance
All Services
Medical clinics
Conditions we treat
Download our app
UC Health news


High cholesterol

Have you had your cholesterol checked lately? High cholesterol can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and a number of other conditions that can lower your quality of life and cause untimely death.

Your cholesterol levels should be checked with a lipoprotien profile blood test at least once every five years. The lipoprotein profile includes:

  • LDL (low density lipoprotein cholesterol - "bad" cholesterol)
  • Triglycerides (fats carried in the blood from the food we eat.)
  • HDL (high density lipoprotein cholesterol - "good" cholesterol)

Results of your blood test will provide you with a lot of numbers. But what do they mean? Here is how to interpret your cholesterol numbers:

LDL cholesterol

LDL cholesterol builds up on the walls of your arteries, increasing your chances of getting heart disease. That is why LDL cholesterol is called "bad" cholesterol. The lower your LDL cholesterol number, the better it is for your health. Please note that your LDL cholesterol goal depends on your personal risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD). Talk to your physician about the best LDL target for you.  


Triglycerides are the chemical state in which most fat exists in food and the body. A high triglyceride level has been linked to the occurrence of coronary artery disease in some people.

Triglycerides Triglyceride category
Less than 150 Normal
150 - 199 Borderline high
200 - 499 High
500 or higher Very high

HDL cholesterol 

HDL cholesterol is the "good" cholesterol. The higher the number, the better it is for your health. HDL cholesterol protects against heart disease by taking the "bad" cholesterol out of your blood, preventing it from building up in your arteries.

HDL cholesterol HDL-cholesterol category
60 and above High: helps to lower risk of heart disease
Less than 40 in men and less than 50 in women Low: considered a risk factor for heart disease

Total cholesterol

Your total blood cholesterol is a measure of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and other lipid components. Doctors generally recommend total cholesterol levels below 200.

Total cholesterol Total cholesterol category
Less than 200 Desirable
200 - 239 Borderline high
240 and above High


About Us
FAQ: Hepatitis C
PVHS-UCH partnership
Be a smart patient
About PVHS
Contact Us
Mission, Vision and Values
Charity Care
Communities We Serve
Baldrige National Quality Award
Nonprofit Status
Center for Performance Excellence
Joint Ventures
Report a Problem
To Report a Problem to the Joint Commission
Institutional Review Board

Awards and Recognition

University of Colorado Health employees dedicate themselves to providing patients and other customers with world-class care and service. Outside organizations recognize that, calling University of Colorado Health's hospitals some of the best in Colorado and even the best in the nation. Some of those accolades are listed below:



University of Colorado Health
Fort Collins, Colorado


© 2014 Poudre Valley Health System
Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Site Map
University of Colorado Health