My Hdl Is 59, Ldl Is 155, Tri Is 117, Overall 237. Is This A Concern?


Asked by Riley

My Hdl Is 59, Ldl Is 155, Tri Is 117, Overall 237. Is This A Concern?

My father's side of the family has a history of heart diease, but not on my mother's side. I have taught martial arts for 25 years and watch what I eat, but my overall number stays around 230 to 238. I weigh 132 lbs and 5ft 6 in. Not a weight problem. Don't smoke and never have.

I took Lipitor ( 10 mg) for about 3 years but had to stop. I came down with a bad case of pancreatitis and almost died from it. My dotors believe the pancreatitis was a reaction to the Lipitor. Are my numbers at a level that would justify taking a chance on another drug? Lipitor brought my overall number down to 170.


Hi Riley,

In my answer, I am following guidelines established by the National Cholesterol Education Program.

Total cholesterol should be below 200. A total cholesterol of 237 is considered borderline high. If your total were to increase to 240 or higher you would be in the high risk range.

An LDL of 155 is also in the borderline high category. Above 160 is high risk, below 130 is where you want LDL.

HDL of 59 is also borderline. HDL should be above 60, below 35 is considered high risk.

Yoru triglycerides are great. You are well below 200.

It sounds like you are taking care of yourself. Apparently, you lucked out and got some crummy genes from your fathers gene pool.

Activity, especially aerobic, helps keep HDL elevated.

The right ratio of saturated to unsaturated fats would also help with increasing HDL and lowering LDL. Keep a watchful eye out for ways you can cut your saturated fat intake more. Replacing the saturated fat you cut with healthier fat choices may make a difference - such as eating fish more often, cooking with canola or olive oil, sprinkling ground flax on certain foods, etc.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

Lower Cholesterol, Control High Blood Pressure, Lose Weight

Answered by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN