Non-HDL Cholesterol: 5 Important Facts You Must Know


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Bajaj Finserv Health

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6 min read


Non-HDL cholesterol range can be assessed by subtracting your HDL from total cholesterol levels. Read to get an overview on non-HDL cholesterol and understand non-HDL cholesterol normal range.

Key Takeaways

  • Non-HDL cholesterol is a suitable marker for predicting heart diseases
  • The non-HDL cholesterol range varies according to your age and gender
  • Non-HDL cholesterol normal range is always less than 130mg/dL

It is vital to monitor your non-HDL cholesterol levels more than assess your LDL levels. While you may be aware that LDL is called the bad cholesterol, the non-HDL cholesterol value is the total cholesterol number excluding the HDL or good cholesterol levels. It is important to check your non-HDL cholesterol range to determine if you are prone to cardiovascular ailments. According to a study, both LDL and non HDL cholesterol numbers were linked to mortality caused due to cardiovascular diseases [1]. This explains why it is important to get your cholesterol numbers checked.

While you may be aware of the different cholesterol types present in the body, it is essential that you understand non HDL cholesterol. Here are the various types of cholesterol. 

  • HDL or good cholesterol 
  • LDL or bad cholesterol 
  • Triglycerides 
  • Non-HDL cholesterol 

While your body requires adequate amounts of good cholesterol for its proper functioning, an increase in bad cholesterol may result in the buildup of plaques in the arteries. This can affect the blood circulation to and from the heart. If you do not keep LDL levels in control, it can be fatal for your heart. 

You may be aware that cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the body. However, your body absorbs cholesterol from certain foods, and this is known as dietary cholesterol. Make sure to eat only foods rich in healthy fats so that your HDL levels increase. Avoid the intake of processed foods as these can increase your LDL levels. Hence, an evaluation of non-HDL cholesterol proves to be a good marker for diagnosing stroke and heart attacks.

To know more about the non-HDL cholesterol range and why it is important for you to get tested, read on.

Additional read: Know About the Cholesterol Normal Range

Why is it important to know your non-HDL cholesterol levels? 

As mentioned, your non-HDL cholesterol levels help in predicting your susceptibility to heart diseases. Testing your non-HDL cholesterol is more preferred than cholesterol ratio calculation. By taking a non-HDL-C test, it is easy to determine the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. This test is usually combined with a lipid panel that helps check your cholesterol levels. The lipid panel test helps in understanding the following cholesterol numbers. 

In case your LDL and total cholesterol levels are high, you may be at a higher risk for coronary heart ailments. By subtracting the HDL from the total cholesterol number, you will be able to assess non-HDL cholesterol levels. Here is a simple example: if your total cholesterol count is 175 with HDL levels of 25, your non-HDL cholesterol would be 150. In case your non-HDL cholesterol is high, you may be prone to cardiovascular diseases. This explains why it is important to monitor your non-HDL levels regularly [2].

food to lower cholesterol

When should you get a non-HDL cholesterol test done? 

Regular monitoring of your cholesterol numbers is essential if you have a history of cardiovascular diseases in your family. Here are a few other reasons why your doctor might ask you to check non-HDL cholesterol levels. 

  • If your blood pressure levels are high 
  • If you are obese 
  • If you are experiencing high levels of stress 
  • If you are prediabetic or diabetic 
  • If you are following a sedentary lifestyle 
  • If you are a chain smoker 
  • If you consume too much junk food 

Along with this test to assess your non HDL cholesterol levels, you may also be asked to undergo other diagnostic tests to assess your heart conditions. 

  • Stress test 
  • Echocardiogram 
  • Electrocardiogram 
  • Cardiac catheterization 

What is the normal non-HDL cholesterol range that you should aim for? 

If your non-HDL cholesterol levels are high, there is a higher risk for heart disease. The unit for measuring your cholesterol numbers is milligrams per deciliter. These numbers vary according to your gender and age.

For the younger population (less than 19 years), the non-HDL cholesterol normal range should be less than 120mg/dL. In males above the age of 20 years, non-HDL cholesterol levels need to be less than 130mg/dL. The non-HDL cholesterol normal range in women above 20 years should also be less than 130mg/dL [3].

In the case of total cholesterol numbers, the recommended value is below 200mg/dL. While your LDL levels should be ideally below 100mg/dL, a cholesterol value equal to or above 60mg/dL determines your HDL count. If your total cholesterol levels lie between 200 and 240mg/dL, you are in the borderline category. High values exceeding 240mg/dL indicate high cholesterol levels.

What do non-HDL cholesterol high numbers indicate? 

This means you are at risk of heart ailments such as: 

  • Heart attack 
  • Stroke 
  • Severe pain in the chest 
  • Atherosclerosis 

How can you reduce high non-HDL cholesterol numbers? 

By following these simple remedies, you can keep a check on your cholesterol levels and reduce non HDL cholesterol. 

  • Minimize the intake of saturated fats 
  • Avoid eating foods containing trans fats like fried or baked processed foods 
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption 
  • Quit smoking 
  • Maintain your BMI levels 
  • Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes a day 
  • Eat heart-healthy foods like nuts, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains 
  • Take omega-3 and other vitamin supplements as per a doctor’s advise 

Additional read: 6 Healthy Ways to Lower your Cholesterol Level 

Non-HDL Cholesterol -52

Now that you have got an overview of the normal non HDL cholesterol range and ways to reduce the non-HDL cholesterol, make sure to modify your lifestyle patterns. These small modifications can help you lead a healthy life and promote good cardiovascular health. Remember to get your cholesterol levels checked regularly for a fit and healthy body.  

Book this lab test as well as others with ease on Bajaj Finserv Health and enjoy the benefits of home sample collection. All you need to do is book a test either through the app or on the website, and you will get a discount too! By regular monitoring of cholesterol levels and other health markers, you can improve your life and get treated before the problem worsens. Something that can help you do this is a health policy that offers preventive check-ups for free and gives you lab test reimbursements. Both of these benefits and more are yours when you sign up for the Complete Health Solution plans under Aarogya Care.

Right from providing comprehensive medical coverage up to Rs.10 lakh, these plans come with added features such as high network discounts and free unlimited teleconsultations. Invest in a plan right away and manage your medical treatment costs with ease.

Published on 24 Jun 2022Last updated on 24 Feb 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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