Home Cholesterol Test

What Does It Measure?

Most home cholesterol tests measure only total cholesterol in the blood, but there have been some tests approved for testing total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides. Read the box carefully to learn what the specific cholesterol test is actually testing.
 

Limits of Testing Cholesterol at Home

Home cholesterol tests are limited because, in most cases, they only measure total cholesterol. Total cholesterol levels can be misleading, because a person can have a healthy total cholesterol level and still have a low HDL level or a high LDL level. Therefore, most cholesterol treatment decisions are based on HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, not total cholesterol. So, consider the total cholesterol level to be an overview number.
 
A total cholesterol level over 240 mg/dL is high, a level between 200 and 239 mg/dL is borderline, and a total cholesterol level under 200 mg/dL is a healthy level of cholesterol. If your total cholesterol is higher than 240 mg/dL, your risk for heart disease and stroke is higher.
 
Total Cholesterol Level
Total Cholesterol Category
Less than 200 mg/dL
Desirable
200–239 mg/dL
Borderline high
240 mg/dL and above
High
 
(Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams [mg] of cholesterol per deciliter [dL] of blood.)
 
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