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HDL Cholesterol

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Also known as: HDL; HDL-C
Formal name: High-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol

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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used. To access online sources, copy and paste the URL into your browser.

Sources Used in Current Review

Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). Sep 2002. PDF available for download at through Accessed July 21, 2013.

(December 2011) Expert Panel on Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents: Summary Report. Pediatrics. December 2011. Vol 128. Supplement 5. PDF available for download at through Accessed July 21, 2013.

(©2012) American Heart Association. Cholesterol Levels. Available online at through Accessed July 21, 2013.

(November 2012) American Association of Family Physicians. High Cholesterol. Available online at through Accessed July 19, 2013.

Voight, B.F. et al. Plasma HDL cholesterol and risk of myocardial infarction: a mendelian randomisation study. The Lancet. August 2012. Vol 380. Issue 9841. Available online at: through Accessed July 2013.

Sources Used in Previous Reviews

Thomas, Clayton L., Editor (1997). Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, PA [18th Edition].

Pagana, Kathleen D. & Pagana, Timothy J. (2001). Mosby's Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference 5th Edition: Mosby, Inc., Saint Louis, MO.

American Heart Association. "What are healthy levels of cholesterol?" Article available online at

National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute. National Cholesterol Education Program Guidelines, Cholesterol, ATP III. Pp 31-34. PDF available for download at through Accessed July 2008.

Pagana K, Pagana T. Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests. 3rd Edition, St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier; 2006. pp 351-355. Cholesterol Levels, What numbers should you aim for? (June 21, 2008). Available online at through Accessed July 2008.

American Heart Association. What Your Cholesterol Level Means. (April 7, 2008). Previously available online at Accessed July 2008.

Clarke, W. and Dufour, D. R., Editors (2006). Contemporary Practice in Clinical Chemistry, AACC Press, Washington, DC. Pp 252-253.

Ken-ichi Hirano, et al. Atherosclerotic Disease in Marked Hyperalphalipoproteinemia: Combined Reduction of Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein and Hepatic Triglyceride Lipase. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 1995;15:1849-1856. Available online at;15/11/1849?eaf through Accessed May 2010.

MedWire News: Dangerous edge to very high HDL-C levels. J Am Coll Cardiol 2008; 51: 634-642. Available online at through Accessed May 2010.

Lia Tremblay (LifeWire). Are High HDL Levels the Answer to Cholesterol Problems? Why High HDL Levels May Not Be Good Enough. Available online at through Accessed May 2010.