Friday, April 25, 2008

Know about Cholesterol Ratio

While considering your cholesterol level, in majority of the cases you are provided with your total blood cholesterol level, however, something more is required to understand the clear picture of your health. You should know about LDL, HDL and most importantly about cholesterol ratio. As common practice suggests, the diagnostic tests take into account four factors, namely, total blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Now, in majority of the cases, cholesterol ratio is defined as the value retrieved from the total cholesterol level divided by the HDL level. Additionally, few researchers and doctors also consider cholesterol ratio as per dividing LDL by HDL. American Heart Association (AHA) considers 3.5:1 as the optimum ratio for total blood cholesterol to HDL and always recommends keeping this ratio lower than 5:1. For LDL to HDL the ratio should be lower than 3:1.

Calculation of Cholesterol Ratio

Cholesterol ratio is also referred to as cardiac risk ratio. If it is greater than 7:1, it is assumed as a warning. Now we look at it in more details. Say, your total cholesterol level and HDL level are 200mg/dL and 50mg/dL respectively. Then your cholesterol ratio is 4:1. You can get this ratio by simply dividing the former value by the later one. Ideally, your cholesterol ratio may be within 3:1, however, below 5:1 ratio is good for maintaining a healthy balance. Higher ratio difference implies higher risk for developing heart problem, whereas lower difference ensures lower risk for the same. Quite obviously, high level of total cholesterol and low level of HDL heightens the ratio, which is absolutely undesirable. On the other hand, higher HDL and lower total cholesterol lower the ratio value, which is truly desirable.

Blood Cholesterol Ratio and Cardiovascular Risk

The HDL to LDL ratio and total cholesterol to HDL ratio are more relevant compared to total blood cholesterol level in terms of diagnosing the potential risk for coronary heart disease, heart attack, arteriosclerosis, and other cardiovascular disorder. For example, if someone has LDL to HDL ratio less than 2.5, that implies he is in safe condition. But if the ratio becomes higher than 3, it may turn out to be an indicator for possible complications. On the other hand, total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio is beneficial in analyzing probable risk for atherosclerosis. The best defined ratio is lower than 4:1. In fact, some health practitioners recommend using total cholesterol to HDL ratio instead of total cholesterol level. The LDL to HDL ratio is considered as a pure ratio and perfect. This LDL to HDL cholesterol ratio is thought to be a better marker for cardiovascular complications.

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