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Cholesterol Levels by Age: Important Things You Need to Know

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
June 22nd, 2022
8 mins read

Synopsis

Checking cholesterol levels by age is crucial to leading a healthy life. Find out the risk factors and normal cholesterol levels for adults and children.

Key Takeaways

  • Increase of cholesterol levels by age is normal in adults
  • Normal cholesterol levels for men and women are similar
  • It is important to check your cholesterol level every five years

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that plays a crucial role in managing your body’s functions. It is produced in your liver and also can be sourced from certain foods. Note that there are three types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides. Remember, LDL is called bad cholesterol due to the role it plays in increasing your chances of getting heart disease, as an excess amount of it can cause blockage in your blood vessels. On the other hand, HDL is called good cholesterol as it protects your body from cardiac diseases. It’s important to know cholesterol levels by age.

When it comes to healthy cholesterol levels by age, it is important to note that it tends to climb as we age. It is wise to get the cholesterol test done every five years once one completes the age of 20 [1]. In case you are at risk of heart disease, check your levels more frequently when compared between sexes; studies show that men are at higher risk for a high level of cholesterol than women. However, the cholesterol levels of women also rise once they reach menopause. Read on to learn about the normal cholesterol levels for men, women, and children.

Additional Read: What is Good Cholesterol and How Does it Differ From Bad Cholesterol?

cholesterol levels by age

Normal cholesterol levels for adults and children 

The classification of your cholesterol levels can be normal, high, low, or borderline. Take a look at the cholesterols levels by age chart among adults of different sexes and children.

Cholesterols Levels By Age Chart 

  Normal cholesterol levels for men aged 20 years or older  Normal cholesterol levels for women aged 20 years or older  Normal cholesterol levels for those aged 19 years or younger 
HDL  40 mg/dL or higher  50 mg/dL or higher  45 mg/dL or higher 
LDL 

Lower than 100 mg/dL 

Triglycerides 

Lower than 150 mg/dL 

Total cholesterol  125-200 mg/dL  125-200 mg/dL  Up to 170 mg/dL 

As you can see, the ideal range of cholesterol is almost similar for men and women. For children, it is especially important to have their cholesterol level checked between the ages of 9 and 11 years and 17 and 21 years. 

some health conditions to check

Risk factors that need frequent cholesterol checks  

Apart from your regular check-ups, doctors may want to check your cholesterol levels in case you have any or some of the risk factors that increase LDL or bad cholesterol.

Take a look at the usual risk factors for high cholesterol across ages: 

  • Old age 
  • Addiction to tobacco 
  • Alcoholism 
  • Severe inflammatory conditions 
  • Type 2 diabetes 
  • Metabolic diseases 
  • Menopause 
  • Family history of cholesterol-related conditions 
  • Sedentary lifestyle 
  • Following an imbalanced diet 
  • Hypertension

For children who are at risk, doctors may advise you to also check their cholesterol levels when they are aged between 2 and 8 years and 12 and 16 years.

Additional Read: 10 Healthy Drinks You Should Start Drinking for Low Cholesterol

How to treat conditions caused by high LDL cholesterol 

To treat LDL-related conditions, it’s important to keep your cholesterol level in check. If your LDL level is high, doctors may recommend the following based on your health conditions, age, and sex. 

  • Lifestyle modifications 
  • Reduce intake of foods highly saturated with fats: Lowering the consumption of foods like red meat, whole milk, and cheese will help you to keep your cholesterol in control.  
  • Increase your physical activity through moderate workouts: Make sure to exercise half an hour to one hour a day to lose extra body weight, keep obesity at bay, and boost the HDL cholesterol.  
  • Stay away from all types of tobacco: If you smoke or consume any other type of tobacco, quit immediately. In case you are exposed to indirect consumption, avoid that too.  
  • Consume healthy fats like nuts, avocado, and olive oil: These won’t affect your LDL levels.  
  • Add fiber like whole grains to your diet: It will help you control bad cholesterol from getting beyond of limit.  
  • Limit consumption of alcohol: As per medical guidelines, it is not recommended for men to take more than two drinks per day. And, for women, the limit is one drink per day.
  • Medications 
  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitors 
  • PCSK9 inhibitors 
  • Bile acid sequestrants 
  • Bempedoic acid 
  • Statins

Considering all these factors, be sure to consult a doctor immediately if you have emergency symptoms such as a myocardial infarction, commonly known as heart attack, or a cerebral stroke, as both of them are an indicator of high cholesterol. Note that there are no other specific high cholesterol symptoms.

So, in order to take preventive measures to control your cholesterol level, get check-ups done from time to time whether you have a family history of high cholesterol diseases or not. For expert advice, you can always get a doctor’s consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health via a remote or in-clinic visit. Choose from the top health experts in your area, and give your health the best protection possible!

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