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What are guidelines for high-density lipoprotein blood cholesterol levels?

The following are the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines for high-density lipoprotein (HDL) blood cholesterol levels:
  • optimal: above 60 mg/dL. Levels above 60 mg/dL are considered especially beneficial and can offset risk factors for heart disease. The higher the level, the healthier it is.
  • average: 50 to 60 mg/dL for women; 40 to 50 mg/dL for men.
  • low: less than 50 mg/dL for women; less than 40 mg/dL for men. Below these levels is considered a major risk factor for heart disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.