Total cholesterol includes a combined measure of “good cholesterol” know as high-density lipoproteins (HDL), “bad cholesterol” known as low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). High cholesterol levels can lead to a high risk for heart disease. And, because elevated levels are not typically accompanied by any signs or symptoms, it is important for adults to get their cholesterol routinely checked.