Recommended LDL levels – by age and gender

What is LDL?

The total blood cholesterol is the measurement of all cholesterol components like low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol, and very low-density lipoproteins or VLDL (a lipid component which carries triglyceride).

Your total blood cholesterol is a measure of the cholesterol components LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein, which is the triglyceride-carrying component of lipids).

LDL is also known as the bad cholesterol. Its accumulation in the arteries increases the risk of developing a heart disease.

Below are the LDL cholesterol ranges:


  • Optimal: If LDL is less than 100.
  • Near-optimal or above optimal: If it is between100-129.
  • Borderline high: If it is between130-159.
  • High: If it is between160-189.
  • Very high: If it is between 190 or above.

However, for the people suffering from any heart disease or blood vessel disease the recommended LDL goal during treatment is usually less than 70. The treatment goal for the ones with a high-risk disease like diabetes or any other multiple risk heart disease is to reach an LDL level of less than 100.

What is the cause of variations in LDL levels?

With increasing age total and bad cholesterol levels also increase. It happens because LDL receptor which helps in removing bad cholesterol from the blood becomes less active with age. Also, the connection between bad cholesterol and body fat percentage is even stronger than the connection between age and cholesterol.

Affect of gender over LDL

Usually, women experience less LDL cholesterol problems than men before their menopause because the level of estrogen in them has the tendency to increase good cholesterol which further reduces bad cholesterol or LDL.

So in a way, women’s good cholesterol protects them from the heart disease whereas men are usually susceptible to heart diseases as good cholesterol levels below 40 mg/dL becomes a major risk factor for it. Also, several studies reveal that the average good cholesterol in men is 42 to 44 mg/dL whereas in women is 53 mg/dL before the age of 30. If more good cholesterol is present it means there will be less of bad cholesterol in the body.

But the change in LDL happens with age like:

  • Women (40-49 years) usually possess total cholesterol of nearly 194 mg/dL
  • Women (50-49 years) usually possess total cholesterol of nearly 219 mg/dL
  • Men (40-49 years) usually possess total cholesterol of nearly 205 mg/dL
  • Men (50 years and above) usually possess total cholesterol of nearly 208 mg/dL

Greater the value of total cholesterol means its LDL component which is a bad one is high and there is more risk for heart diseases.

In pregnant women sometimes cholesterol levels are increased and it is even required for the growth of the fetus and its proper development and functioning.

Affect of age over LDL

Cholesterol levels tend to increase with age so taking precautions with age is essential for food health.  Several years of unmanaged cholesterol levels get uncontrollable and even untreatable at times.

Children are usually less likely to have high levels of cholesterol unless they are born with some anomaly or particular heart disease. Otherwise getting cholesterol levels checked just once or twice before they reach the age of 18 is more than enough.

In Adults:

LDL cholesterol levels must be < 100 mg/dL. Even levels between 100 – 129 mg/dL are acceptable at times if the person is healthy, however, it might become a reason of concern for people with heart diseases.

LDL levels of 130 to 159 mg/dL are considered as borderline high and of 160 to 189 mg/dL is a clear indication of high levels. Any value of 190 mg/dL and above is considered extremely high and happens in people with severe heart and blood disorders.

In children:

optimal LDL cholesterol levels < 110 mg/dL. Borderline high is between 110 to 129 mg/dL whereas above 130 mg/dL is considered high.

Few tips to combat with LDL issues

  • Eating a healthy diet along with regular exercise is must for everyone let it be children or adults. This helps to keep cholesterol levels in better form.

LDL levels

  • Avoiding sedentary lifestyle from childhood and even through adolescence helps in keeping cholesterol levels in control even during adulthood. Since the person gets into the habit of remaining active.
  • Overweight people must keep an eye on what they eat and when they eat. Avoiding processed and sugar infused foods help in keeping weight in control along with LDL levels in limits.
  • People who are aware of their family disease history of high cholesterol or any heart diseases can be at risk. So, in such cases, even children must be vigilant about maintaining a good lifestyle with a balance of food and exercise.
  • Women approaching their menopause and even adults with extremely high levels of LDL must consider a physician consultation for a medication therapy to monitor and treatment.
  • High cholesterol at any age and of any gender can make a person fall under risk for developing heart disease, heart attack, and even strokes. If precautions are taken and levels are monitored at regular intervals in people with cholesterol issues then these risks can be prevented.


Bad cholesterol or LDL is an essential component of the total cholesterol. It must be kept in control especially in men. Since men do not possess protective hormones estrogens like in women which keeps them safe till menopause. With increasing age, it becomes important to keep an eye over your cholesterol numbers. So don’t wait any longer just get the Cholesterol Profile Test done.

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