High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)

This lab test measures good cholesterol. The higher the HDL number is the better the chances are for reducing your risk for heart disease.

High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Overview

Reviewed: April 22, 2014

High density lipoprotein (HDL) is considered good cholesterol. HDL carries excess cholesterol back to the liver so it can be removed. Higher levels of HDL is desired as this may reduce the risk for coronary heart disease. HDL can be raised by eating good fats and doing workouts that raise the heart rate.

High density lipoprotein (HDL) is measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

High density lipoprotein (HDL) less than 40 mg/dL is considered low.
High density lipoprotein (HDL) greater than 60 mg/dL is considered high.



Blood draw


Fasting 12 hours before the test is required.

Water intake is allowed.

What the results mean

HDL less than 40 mg/dL for men and less than 50 mg/dL for women is considered low and a major risk factor for heart disease. HDL greater than 60 mg/dL is considered high and is protective against heart disease.