Typical HDL cholesterol levels for men range between 40 and 50 milligrams per deciliter and between 50 and 59 milligrams per deciliter for women. These numbers indicate an average risk of heart disease. Higher numbers mean less risk, while lower numbers portend increased risk, as stated by Healthline.
HDL cholesterol tests require fasting for as long as 12 hours before the test or abstaining from some medications for a short period of time, depending on the instructions from the doctor. The test itself is fast and mostly painless. The technician draws a blood sample with a needle into an airtight bottle, packages the sample and sends it to a lab for testing, according to Healthline.