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Cholesterol is essential for the production of bile juices, hormones and vitamin D. Each and every cell of our body contains cholesterol; as it plays an important role in various metabolic functions. Our body produces cholesterol and we consume cholesterol through diet. Effects of high cholesterol levels can prove to be life-threatening.

Cholesterol Levels

Low density and high density lipoprotein are the two types of cholesterol. You need to get rid of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol; and you should try to increase the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. Along with total cholesterol, HDL:LDL ratio has to be checked. Generally, triglycerides levels are also checked while checking cholesterol levels in body. A simple blood test informs us about the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. LDL is the main culprit in formation of plaque in the arteries. It sticks to the interior walls of the blood vessels and creates an obstruction in the bloodflow. Blocked or hardened vessels lead to heart attack or stroke. HDL helps lower LDL levels in the body. Cholesterol is a waxy substance which does not dissolve in blood. Here are important cholesterol numbers for reference.
  • Normal Total Blood Cholesterol: < 200 mg/dL
  • Borderline High Total: 200 - 239 mg/dL (Slightly risky and needs to be controlled)
  • High Total Cholesterol: >240 mg/dL(Very risky and chances of heart diseases are very high)
  • Optimal HDL Levels: 60 mg/dL or higher
  • HDL Close to Optimal: 40-59 mg/dL (Slightly better but not optimal)
  • High Risk HDL Levels: Less than 40 mg/dL (Very low level and high risk of heart disease)
  • Optimal LDL Level: Less than 100 mg/dL (Virtually harmless to the body)
  • LDL Close to Optimal:100-129 mg/dL (Slightly higher than optimal level)
  • Borderline High LDL: 130-159 mg/dL (LDL should be brought under control)
  • High LDL Levels: 160-189 mg/dL
  • Very High LDL: 190 mg/dL or higher (potentially very risky)
  • Optimal Triglycerides Levels: Less than 150 mg/dL
  • Borderline High Triglycerides Levels: 150-199 mg/dL
  • High Triglycerides Levels: 200-499 mg/dL (needs to be reduced)
  • Very High Triglycerides Levels: 500 mg/dL or higher (can prove to be fatal)
Cholesterol Levels for Men by Age

As mentioned earlier, ideal cholesterol range is same for all ages. But your own LDL cholesterol goal can be determined by the risk factors like diabetes, coronary heart diseases, obesity, that you may have. Along with aging, fat deposits in the body increase. Many people develop diabetes, hypertension, etc. While determining the risk of high cholesterol for men and women; age, sex, family history, weight, blood pressure and lifestyle habits need to be taken into consideration. Along with aging, physical activity decreases, and the influence of risk factors increases. Men with family history, men who consume excessive alcohol, those who smoke, those who do not follow a balanced, healthy diet, are at high risk of high cholesterol.

There are no fixed cholesterol levels for men by age as such. Optimal levels of cholesterol for every person can be different, depending upon various factors. If men under 30 have borderline high cholesterol, they can easily reduce those levels by exercising and by following a balanced diet. But men over 50 may not be able to do so. Actually, they should try to maintain optimal LDL and HDL cholesterol levels. Men over 40 should start checking cholesterol regularly so that with proper precautions, they will be able to control the levels before reaching higher numbers. Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle or those who are overweight are more likely to suffer from high cholesterol levels and its life-threatening consequences. Fatty foods such as red meat and dairy products, that can raise your blood cholesterol significantly, should be avoided. Exercising for at least half an hour per day can help lower the levels of cholesterol. Men who already have had a heart attack should take maximum precautions.

I hope you found the above information on cholesterol in blood, helpful. Men are more likely to have high blood cholesterol, much sooner in life than women. So, men are more likely to have a heart attack in old age. They should try their best to avoid high cholesterol.