Non-HDL Cholesterol is a calculated value of all "bad" cholesterol types in your blood. It is used as a marker of cardiovascular diseases.
Cholesterol is an essential substance for building cells and making vitamins and hormones. However, high levels of certain types of cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as peripheral artery disease, stroke, or heart attack. Several types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol through the bloodstream, including low-density lipoprotein (LDL), very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Non-HDL cholesterol is calculated by subtracting the "good" cholesterol, HDL, from your total cholesterol level. Interestingly, research shows that non-HDL cholesterol is an even more reliable marker than LDL cholesterol.[1-3]
Each laboratory uses different equipment and workflows, so the results might vary in terms of the reference ranges or used units of measurement. In Macromo blood tests, we use mmol/l (millimole per liter), but you can also find values in mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter) on the internet.
Non-HDL cholesterol levels should ideally be below 3.8 mmol/l to minimize the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.[4-6] For high-risk people, the levels should be even lower, below 1.8 mmol/l.
The equation used for the calculation of the result is written below:
Non−HDL Cholesterol = Total Cholesterol - HDL Cholesterol
Your blood test can show distinct result possibilities:
Although no single gene is identified to cause high cholesterol, genetics is still an important factor. It can affect the conditions that lead to increased cholesterol levels, including obesity, overeating, or diabetes.
Genetic variations can influence non-HDL cholesterol levels. Polymorphisms in genes involved in lipid metabolism, such as LDLR, can affect the level of non-HDL cholesterol.
For example, familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetic disorder characterized by high LDL cholesterol levels, resulting in more elevated non-HDL cholesterol. Mutations in the LDLR gene can lead to this condition.
On the other hand, the heritability of HDL cholesterol is estimated to be 62–77%. However, some people may have lower levels due to genetic conditions, including Tangier disease or familial hypoalphalipoproteinemia.[8,9]
The information and tests provided on our website are for educational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making health decisions. Our tests do not diagnose or treat diseases. Individual results may vary and should be discussed with a healthcare provider.
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 Aggarwal DJ, Kathariya MG, Verma DPK. LDL-C, NON-HDL-C and APO-B for cardiovascular risk assessment: Looking for the ideal marker. Indian Heart J. 2021;73(5):544-548. doi:10.1016/j.ihj.2021.07.013
 Johannesen CDL, Mortensen MB, Langsted A, Nordestgaard BG. ApoB and Non‐HDL Cholesterol Versus LDL Cholesterol for Ischemic Stroke Risk. Ann Neurol. 2022;92(3):379-389. doi:10.1002/ana.26425
 Cholesterol ratio or non-HDL cholesterol: Which is most important? Mayo Clinic. Accessed July 20, 2023. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/cholesterol-ratio/faq-20058006
 Non-HDL cholesterol. Accessed July 20, 2023. https://old.fnplzen.cz/pracoviste/ukbh/detail.asp?id=19&retezparametru=
 Non-HDL cholesterol: What is the normal range? Published July 29, 2022. Accessed July 20, 2023. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/non-hdl-cholesterol-normal-range
 Cholesterol a triglyceridy | IKEM. Accessed July 20, 2023. https://www.ikem.cz/cs/cholesterol-a-triglyceridy/a-1990/
 Vrablik M, Tichý L, Freiberger T, Blaha V, Satny M, Hubacek JA. Genetics of Familial Hypercholesterolemia: New Insights. Front Genet. 2020;11. doi:10.3389/fgene.2020.574474
 Brunham LR, Hayden MR. Human genetics of HDL: Insight into particle metabolism and function. Progress in Lipid Research. 2015;58:14-25. doi:10.1016/j.plipres.2015.01.001
 Kosmas CE, Silverio D, Sourlas A, Garcia F, Montan PD, Guzman E. Primary genetic disorders affecting high density lipoprotein (HDL). DIC. 2018;7:1-11. doi:10.7573/dic.212546
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