HDL Cholesterol

The test for high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is used along with other lipid tests to determine your risk of developing heart disease. HDL is one of the classes of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol in the blood. H-density lipoprotein cholesterol is considered to be beneficial because it removes excess cholesterol and disposes of it. Hence HDL cholesterol is often termed "good" cholesterol. The test for HDL measures the amount of HDL cholesterol in blood. High levels of HDL cholesterol are good.


A blood sample is drawn from a vein in the arm or from a finger. Fasting is not required unless the HDL cholesterlol level test is ordered with other tests, including total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride level tests as part of a lipid profile. A complete lipid profile requires fasting for at least 12 hours before the test. If the testing occurs when a person is not fasting, only the HDL and total cholesterol levels may be used for risk assessment.


Male: greater than 45 mg/dL or greater than 0.75 mmol/L

Female: greater than 55 mg/dL or greater than 0.91 mmol/L

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.


Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests.


It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.