Is a below-normal cholesterol level dangerous?—LAUREN D. DOLL, RN, NP, Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

In and of itself, below-normal cholesterol is not dangerous and is usually a result of genetics and/or diet. However, most concern over low cholesterol levels stems from their strong correlation as an indicator of other, more severe systemic illness, such as neoplastic disease. A cholesterol level <160 mg/dL is considered below normal, and a level of 120-140 is “very low.”—Sherril Sego, FNP-C, DNP (146-4)