LDL Cholesterol Goal Level Calculator

/ mm Hg



Total Points: = % risk of heart disease in 10 years.

Average 10-year risk: = % (for others in your age group).

LDL Cholesterol Goal: = mg/dl

The LDL Cholesterol Goal Level Calculator is a tool that utilizes information from the Framingham Heart Study to estimate the 10-year risk of experiencing a heart attack or death due to coronary heart disease in adults aged 20 or older who do not have a history of heart disease or diabetes.

It is important to note that the results provided by this calculator are intended for informational purposes only and should not be solely relied upon for making medical decisions. It is always recommended to consult with your physician to understand the medical implications of any tests or assessments you undergo. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your individual health profile.

What is LDL cholesterol?

LDL cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, is a type of cholesterol that is carried in the bloodstream. It is often referred to as "bad" cholesterol because high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries.

LDL cholesterol is formed when other lipoproteins, such as very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), undergo chemical changes in the bloodstream. LDL cholesterol carries cholesterol to various tissues and organs in the body, including the cells that line the arteries. If there is an excess of LDL cholesterol or if it becomes oxidized, it can accumulate in the artery walls and contribute to the formation of plaque.

Elevated levels of LDL cholesterol are considered a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease. It is important to manage LDL cholesterol levels through a combination of healthy lifestyle choices, such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sometimes medication, as recommended by a healthcare professional.

What is the reason behind referring to LDL cholesterol as "bad cholesterol"?

LDL cholesterol is commonly referred to as "bad cholesterol" because high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, particularly coronary heart disease. There are a few reasons why LDL cholesterol is considered detrimental to health:

  1. Arterial Plaque Formation: When there is an excess of LDL cholesterol in the blood, it can accumulate in the walls of the arteries and contribute to the formation of plaque. This plaque can narrow and harden the arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis, leading to reduced blood flow and potentially causing heart attacks or strokes.

  2. Oxidation: LDL cholesterol can undergo oxidative changes in the bloodstream, making it more harmful to the arterial walls. Oxidized LDL cholesterol is more likely to promote inflammation and contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.

  3. Cholesterol Delivery: LDL cholesterol delivers cholesterol to various tissues and organs, including the cells lining the arteries. If there is an excess of LDL cholesterol, it can lead to the deposition of cholesterol in the arterial walls, contributing to the formation of plaque.

On the other hand, HDL cholesterol, often referred to as "good cholesterol," helps remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and transports it back to the liver for disposal. HDL cholesterol has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system, hence its designation as "good."

It is important to note that while LDL cholesterol is considered "bad," it is still a necessary component of the body and serves important functions. However, maintaining a healthy balance of LDL cholesterol and managing its levels within a recommended range is crucial for cardiovascular health. This can be achieved through lifestyle modifications, such as adopting a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and, if necessary, using medication under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

What are the normal values for harmful cholesterol?

When referring to harmful cholesterol, we usually mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), often referred to as "bad cholesterol." The normal values for LDL-C may vary slightly depending on individual risk factors, but generally, the following guidelines are used:

  1. Optimal: Less than 100 mg/dL (2.59 mmol/L) This level is considered ideal for individuals who have a low risk of heart disease.

  2. Near Optimal: 100-129 mg/dL (2.59-3.34 mmol/L) This range is still considered favorable, but it may be a cause for concern in the presence of other risk factors, such as smoking or high blood pressure.

  3. Borderline High: 130-159 mg/dL (3.37-4.12 mmol/L) This level indicates a higher risk of heart disease. Lifestyle modifications or medication may be recommended to lower the cholesterol level.

  4. High: 160-189 mg/dL (4.14-4.90 mmol/L) This range signifies a significantly increased risk of heart disease. Medical intervention, including cholesterol-lowering medications, is often necessary.

  5. Very High: 190 mg/dL (4.90 mmol/L) and above This level indicates an extremely high risk of heart disease, and aggressive treatment, including medication, is typically required.

It is important to note that these values are general guidelines, and the interpretation of cholesterol levels should take into account an individual's overall health, risk factors, and medical history. It is best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance regarding cholesterol management.