It is important to realize that there are many medical organizations that attempt to define the "best" cholesterol reference ranges. There are also goal cholesterol levels for patients with certain disease states, but even these values are often disputed between medical organizations and medical professionals.
The cholesterol reference ranges in the table are only one example of generally accepted values for the "average" patient. These are not cholesterol "goals" for patients with certain disease states, such as coronary artery disease. Since these values are varied and disputed, the clinical laboratory professional needs to be focused on knowing a general normal range and perhaps a few common cholesterol goals (discussed later).