hdl normal range

What Is the Normal Range for HDL Cholesterol?

High-density cholesterol, more commonly known as HDL, is an important component of one’s overall cholesterol profile. Licensed physicians take a variety of factors into account when determining an individual’s HDL score. From an overall health perspective, it’s important to understand the normal range for HDL, as it gives some indication of the amount of cholesterol actually present in one body.

Factors to Consider

An individual’s age, gender, and overall health can all factor into their overall cholesterol score. The general range for HDL cholesterol is between 40–50 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) in men and between 50–60 mg/dL for women. Maintaining an optimal level of HDL cholesterol is important for managing cholesterol levels and other risk factors. Those with lower HDL readings may be considered at higher risk of developing certain cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke or coronary artery disease.

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HDL Benefits

HDL particles help remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries and return it to the liver. This can reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which can lead to a reduction of the risk for heart disease. One of the benefits of HDL cholesterol is that it helps protect the heart. People with higher HDL cholesterol levels tend to be at lower risk for heart attacks and coronary artery disease.

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Ways to Increase HDL Levels

Individuals looking to maintain or increase their HDL levels can do so through a combination of lifestyle changes, including:

  • Engaging in regular physical activity
  • Eating a healthier diet
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

Consulting with a medical professional can also be beneficial, as they may suggest additional lifestyle modifications to help boost HDL levels.


Having a healthy HDL level is important for a number of reasons, including reducing the risk for certain cardiovascular diseases. Generally speaking, the normal range for HDL is 40–50 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) for men and 50–60 mg/dL for women. In addition to lifestyle changes, certain medications may occasionally be prescribed to help patients raise their HDL levels. Consequently, it’s important to speak with a doctor or healthcare provider if you’re concerned with your HDL score.

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