If you are experiencing a medical emergency please dial 911 immediately
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
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.