ATP III Cholesterol Goals and Risk Factors

These are the levels that are set by the ATP III. They are based on the risk for heart disease found in various studies. Understanding these gives you a notable upper-hand in the fight against high cholesterol and heart disease.

(In mg/dL)

LDL Cholesterol  HDL Cholesterol     Total Cholesterol Triglycerides
<100 Optimal < 40 Low < 200 Desirable < 150 Normal
100-129 above optimal > 60 High 200-239 Borderline High   150-199 Borderline High
130-159 Borderline High      > 240 High 200-499 High
160-189 High                                       > 500 Very High
> 190 Very High       



As we stated in the previous post the main target for whether or not cholesterol therapy is recommended is based on your LDL cholesterol score.

LDL Target Goals

  • Risk Factors LDL Goal (in mg/dL)
  • CHD or CHD Equivalents < 100
  • Multiple Risk Factors (2 or more) < 130
  • 0-1 Risk Factors < 160

CHD Equivalents – As shown in the chart above these modify your LDL Goal

  • Currently having a disease that involves atherosclerosis in other parts of the body (leg, neck, etc)
  • Diabetes
  • A combination of other risk factors that put you at >20% risk of having CHD in the next 10 years.

Risk Factors – These also Modify your LDL Cholesterol Goals

  • Cigarette Smoking
  • High Blood Pressure (>140/90 mmHG or on High blood pressure medication)
  • Low HDL cholesterol (<40 mg/dL)
  • Family History of Early CHD (Father or brother who had a heart attack before age 55 or a mother or sister who had a heart attack before age 65)
  • Age
    • Male:  > 45
    • Female:  > 55