Is smoking, hypertension or diabetes worse for my cholesterol?

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Submitted by Dr T on January 2, 2011 – 12:09pm

What is a normal cholesterol and how do other risk factors affect it?

All these influence your cholesterol and thus the risk for heart disease:

Classification of LDL, Total, HDL Cholesterol (mg)/dL)

Total Cholesterol

  • <200         Desirable
  • 200-239     Borderline high
  • >240        High

LDL Cholesterol

  • <100         Optimal
  • 100-129     Near optimal/above optimal
  • 130-159     Borderline high
  • 160-189     High
  • >190         Very high

HDL Cholesterol

  • <40         Low
  • >60         High

Major Risk Factors (Exclusive of LDL Cholesterol) That Modify LDL Goals*

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Hypertension (BP ³140/90 mmHg or on antihypertensive medication)
  • Low HDL cholesterol (<40 mg/dL)†
  • Family history of premature CHD (CHD in male first degree relative <55 years;
  • CHD in female first degree relative <65 years)
  • Age (men >45 years; women >55 years)*

* Diabetes is regarded as a CAD risk equivalent.
† HDL cholesterol ³60 mg/dL counts as a “negative” risk factor; its presence removes one risk factor from the total count.

You can calculate your risks here:

Treatment depends on many factors, but include diet and exercise, behavior modifications, and medications! A lot of what will happen is thus up to you!

Hope this helps,

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