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According to Mayo Clinic, a total cholesterol level of 188 would be considered desirable for both adult men and women.
According to Mayo Clinic, a desirable total cholesterol level is lower than 200 mg/dL for both men and women.
While rare, a total cholesterol level could be considered too low. However, there isn't yet a consensus among medical professionals on what would constitute such a level.
Total cholesterol is typically determined by the formula HDL level + LDL level + 20% of triglycerides level.
A total cholesterol level of 188 may be written on a lab report as 188 mg/dL, or milligrams per deciliter. This means there would be 188 milligrams of total cholesterol per deciliter of blood. For reference, 1 deciliter is equal to 100 milliliters, or approximately 3.38 US fluid ounces.
Total cholesterol is typically measured by a blood test, also called a lipid profile or lipid panel, ordered by your doctor. To get an accurate reading, you're typically asked to fast for at least 8 to 10 hours prior to the test.
You can also measure total cholesterol levels at home with a digital cholesterol meter. To use one, you typically prick a finger with a lancet or fingerstick, add a drop of blood to a test strip, and insert the strip into the meter. While convenient, the reliability of readings from at-home cholesterol meters is debated.
If you have an HSA as part of your health insurance plan, you'll be pleased to find that cholesterol meters and cholesterol test kits are both eligible.
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The information on this page is intended to be an educational reference and is not to be taken as medical advice. If you think you're having a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.