High-density lipoproteins (HDL)

Lipoproteins that contain a small amount of cholesterol and carry cholesterol away from body cells and tissues to the liver for excretion from the body. Low-level HDL increases the risk of heart disease, so the higher the HDL level, the better. The HDL component normally contains 20 to 30 percent of total cholesterol, and HDL levels are inversely correlated with coronary heart disease risk.