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Search Health Information    Total Cholesterol

Total Cholesterol

Total cholesterol is the sum of all cholesterol measured in a person's blood. This total includes high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is sometimes called the "good cholesterol," and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), sometimes called the "bad cholesterol," and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL).

Cholesterol is measured either in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or in millimoles per liter of blood (mmol/L).

The ratio of total cholesterol to "good" (HDL) cholesterol is also important, especially if total cholesterol is high.

Last Revised: July 12, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology

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