What is the Difference Between HDL and LDL Cholesterol?

 Do you know the difference?

Sanaz Majd, MD
1-minute read

Why is it that some people with cholesterol over 200 don’t have heart attacks, whereas others with levels of under 200 do?

The answer is in the types of cholesterol that each person has. There are 3 types:

High Density Lipoproteins (HDL)

Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL)

Very Low Density Lipoproteins (VLDL)

High LDL is associated with higher risk of heart disease, while a high HDL is associated with a lower risk. The VLDL, which is mainly triglycerides, has a much smaller effect than the HDL and LDL. LDL is commonly referred to as bad cholesterol, and HDL as good cholesterol. You have to wonder how long these politically-incorrect names will be used. LDL’s self-image must be shot by now with all the praise being heaped on HDL.

Patient and Doctor image courtesy of Shutterstock

Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

About the Author

Sanaz Majd, MD

Dr. Sanaz Majd is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Her special interests are women's health and patient education.