Harvard Heart Letter

Ask the doctor: Is my LDL too low?

Q. I am a 59-year-old man. The results of my latest blood test showed that my LDL cholesterol was 67, which was flagged as low. (I do not take any cholesterol-lowering drugs.) Should I be worried, or do anything to raise my LDL?

A. You should celebrate, not worry, and keep doing what you are doing!

An LDL (the so-called bad cholesterol) reading of 67 is actually quite healthy. Your result was flagged as low because "normal" LDL in the United States is between 90 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and 130 mg/dL. People living in modern hunter-gather societies have LDL levels between 50 mg/dL and 75 mg/dL, and suffer no ill effects from "low" LDL levels, and heart disease is uncommon.

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