Doctors currently focus on your low-density lipid cholesterol (LDL-C) level. This is the “bad” type of cholesterol. Severely high LDL-C is 190 mg/dL or higher.

LDL Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol is the level at which people have a higher risk of heart and blood vessel disease than people with healthy cholesterol levels. This includes a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

Experts agree that a healthy LDL-C level for most people is less than 100 mg/dL. At this level, studies show people have a low rate of heart and blood vessel disease. Some people should aim even lower for an LDL-C level less than 70 mg/dL. These are people who already have heart or blood vessel disease or a very high risk for it.

Doctors look at your risk and healthy LDL-C goal to decide if you need to lower your cholesterol. This means that what is considered “high” cholesterol for you depends on all these factors. In the end, experts agree that when it comes to bad cholesterol, lower is better.

Just remember, with “bad” cholesterol – lower is better!