Cholesterol Test Values in American (mg/dl) and European (mmol/L) Units

There are two different international units of measuring normal, borderline and elevated cholesterol test levels or values in the blood, each having its own share of countries. It, therefore, becomes complicated for you if you are used to one unit value (say, mg/dL) and do the test in another country where the other unit is followed (ie. mmol/L).

This post does the job of the conversion of one measuring unit to the other for total, HDL, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In other words, if your cholesterol test result has reported your cholesterol levels in mg/dL, the chart below will convert it and help you to see the same value in mmol/L and vice versa.

Milligram per deciliter (mg/dl) is followed in the United States. To name a few more countries: France, Egypt, Italy, India, Japan, and most of the South American countries such as Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil follow this terminology to measure cholesterol.

Millimoles per liter (mmol/L) is followed in Canada, UK and other European countries, Australia, South Africa and more.

Below is a chart comparing the cholesterol test values in both units of measurement.

Comparison and conversion chart of cholesterol levels in both units:

Total cholesterol

DesirableBelow 200 mg/dLBelow 5.2 mmol/L
Borderline high200-239 mg/dL5.2-6.2 mmol/L
High240 mg/dL and aboveAbove 6.2 mmol/L


LDL cholesterol

Ideal for those with heart and diabetesBelow 70 mg/dLBelow 1.8 mmol/L
Optimal for those at riskBelow 100 mg/dLBelow 2.6 mmol/L
Optimal100-129 mg/dL2.6-3.3 mmol/L
Borderline130-159 mg/dL3.4-4.1 mmol/L
High160-189 mg/dL4.1-4.9 mmol/L
Very high190 mg/dL and aboveAbove 4.9 mmol/L



DesirableBelow 40 mg/dlBelow 1 mmol/L
Good40 to 59 mg/dl1 to 1.5 mmol/L
Very good60 mg/dl and aboveAbove 1.5 mmol/L



DesirableBelow 150 mg/dL


Below 1.7 mmol/L
Borderline150-199 mg/dl1.7-2.2 mmol/L
High200-499 mg/dl2.3-5.6 mmol/L
Too high500 mg/dl and aboveAbove 5.6 mmol/L