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

  mg/dL mmol/L
Desirable Below 200 mg/dL Below 5.2 mmol/L
Borderline high 200-239 mg/dL 5.2-6.2 mmol/L
High 240 mg/dL and above Above 6.2 mmol/L


LDL cholesterol

  mg/dl mmol/L
Ideal for those with heart and diabetes Below 70 mg/dL Below 1.8 mmol/L
Optimal for those at risk Below 100 mg/dL Below 2.6 mmol/L
Optimal 100-129 mg/dL 2.6-3.3 mmol/L
Borderline 130-159 mg/dL 3.4-4.1 mmol/L
High 160-189 mg/dL 4.1-4.9 mmol/L
Very high 190 mg/dL and above Above 4.9 mmol/L



Desirable Below 40 mg/dl Below 1 mmol/L
Good 40 to 59 mg/dl 1 to 1.5 mmol/L
Very good 60 mg/dl and above Above 1.5 mmol/L



Desirable Below 150 mg/dL


Below 1.7 mmol/L
Borderline 150-199 mg/dl 1.7-2.2 mmol/L
High 200-499 mg/dl 2.3-5.6 mmol/L
Too high 500 mg/dl and above Above 5.6 mmol/L