||In a routine setting
where testing is done to screen for risk, the test results are grouped in 3
categories of risk:
- Desirable: A cholesterol below 200 mg/dL
(5.18 mmol/L) is considered desirable and reflects a low risk of
- Borderline high: A cholesterol of 200-240
mg/dL (5.18-6.22 mmol/L) is considered as moderate risk.
- High Risk: A cholesterol above 240 mg/dL
(6.22 mmol/L) is considered high risk. Your doctor may order a lipid
profile (as well as other tests) to try to determine the cause of your
high cholesterol. Once the cause is known, an appropriate treatment will
Note that cholesterol is high during pregnancy.
Women should wait at least 6 weeks after the baby to have cholesterol
measured. Drugs known to increase cholesterol levels include anabolic
steroids, beta blockers, epinephrine, oral contraceptives and vitamin D.
How do you do this test? You prick your finger with a lancet to get a drop
of blood. Then put it on a piece filter paper that contains special
chemicals. The paper will change color depending on how much cholesterol is
in your blood. Some testing kits use a small machine to tell you how much
cholesterol there is in the sample.
For more information, try the National institute of Health (NIH) National
Program for Cholesterol Education.