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Understanding Cholesterol Levels



What are LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides, and total cholesterol?

It's helpful to know the different components of the blood test which measures your cholesterol so that you understand what your levels should be:

  • "LDL-C" stands for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It's also called "bad" cholesterol, in part because it is one of the major building blocks of plaque buildup in arteries. When high levels of LDL-C exist in the bloodstream, cholesterol may build up in the wall of the artery, a progressive disease called atherosclerosis. As a rule, you want to keep your LDL-C low
  • "HDL-C" stands for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It's also called "good" cholesterol, in part because it helps return cholesterol to the liver, where it can be removed from the body. This helps keep some cholesterol from building up in the arteries. As a rule, you want to keep your HDL-C high
  • Triglycerides are another fat produced by the liver and also found in food. Like high cholesterol, high triglycerides can be dangerous to your health and you want to keep your triglycerides low
  • Total cholesterol is the level of all of the lipids in your blood, including your LDL-C and HDL-C. Generally, a lower total cholesterol is better

LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides, and total cholesterol levels

It’s important to know what your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are—and what they mean. Take a look at the guidelines below to get a better idea of where cholesterol levels should be. Managing high cholesterol may be different for you, depending on your medical history and your health. Your doctor will look at the results of your cholesterol test, also known as a fasting lipid profile, and, using this information along with your medical background, establish a cholesterol goal for you. Always ask what your cholesterol numbers mean, based on your complete health history, so you can work together with your doctor to manage your cholesterol levels.

Click on the tabs below to view the level guidelines.

The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) recommends that all adults over age 20 have a cholesterol test at least once every 5 years. Be sure to discuss with your doctor what your cholesterol numbers mean, based on your complete health history, so you can work together with your doctor to manage your cholesterol levels.

Important questions to ask your doctor

  • What are my cholesterol levels?
  • Why is it important to get my bad (LDL) cholesterol down?
  • What should my cholesterol goals be?

Important Safety Information about CRESTOR® (rosuvastatin calcium) Tablets

  • CRESTOR is not right for everyone. Do not take CRESTOR if you are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant; have liver problems; or have had an allergic reaction to CRESTOR
  • Your doctor should do blood tests to check your liver before starting treatment with CRESTOR and if you have symptoms of liver problems while taking CRESTOR
  • Call your doctor right away if you:
    • Have unexplained muscle pain or weakness, especially with fever
    • Have muscle problems that do not go away even after your doctor told you to stop taking CRESTOR
    • Feel unusually tired
    • Have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine, or yellowing of skin or eyes
  • These could be signs of rare but serious side effects
  • Elevated blood sugar levels have been reported with statins, including CRESTOR
  • Side effects: The most common side effects may include headache, muscle aches, abdominal pain, weakness, and nausea. Memory loss and confusion have also been reported with statins, including CRESTOR
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist about other medicines you are taking

Talk to your doctor about prescription CRESTOR.

Approved Uses for CRESTOR

When diet and exercise alone aren't enough to lower cholesterol, adding CRESTOR can help.

In adults, CRESTOR is prescribed along with diet to lower high cholesterol and to slow the buildup of plaque in arteries as part of a treatment plan to lower cholesterol to goal.

Prescribing Information with Patient Information  (PDF - 152k) 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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The information on this Web site should not take the place of talking with your doctor or health care professional. If you have any questions about your condition, or if you would like more information about CRESTOR, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Only you and your health care professional can decide if CRESTOR is right for you.