Cholesterol Advice

Inferring Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio and Triglycerides/HDL Ratio

Cholesterol levels are used to judge the risk factors for heart diseases. They are the best indicators to judge if a person suffers from any risk of incurring heart diseases in future. Apart from the absolute figures of LDL, HDL and total cholesterol , there are also various cholesterol ratios that may be used by your doctor in some cases. Let's take a look at two of such cholesterol ratios:

Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio

Total cholesterol to HDL ratio is obtained by dividing the HDL cholesterol in to the total cholesterol. Let's take an example to understand how this ratio is calculated.

If a person has total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL and HDL cholesterol of 40 mg/dL, his or her total to HDL ratio comes out to be 5:1. Doctors normally suggest people to maintain the ratio below 5:1. Ideally, this ratio has to be lower than 3.5:1 and therefore to maintain it below 5:1 is compulsory!

If a person has a total cholesterol level of 200mg/dL then it may not be a very critical factor but when compared with the HDL level, if the ratio sores up above or even equal to 5 then it becomes a critical factor. If a person has a higher total to HDL ratio then he may be at an increased risk of heart diseases.

Triglycerides/HDL Ratio

Triglycerides are the main storehouse of fat which may eventually lead to the risk of heart diseases and therefore to keep the level of triglycerides under control is very important. The triglyceride to HDL ratio actually helps determine the amount of HDL that your body has to counter the action of triglycerides.

To calculate triglycerides to HDL ratio, you must divide your triglycerides by your HDL. For example, if your triglyceride level is 180 mg/dL and your HDL is 60 mg/dL, the ratio comes out to be 3:1. Ideally, this ratio must remain below 2. A minor fluctuation on the higher side may not be that dangerous but excessively high ratio is surely a warning signal.

Therefore, just the HDL levels alone do not prove a point. Their ratio with triglycerides has to be in sync to save you from the danger of any heart diseases. It is here that these ratios come to help and project a fair and comparative picture of your cholesterol levels and the associated risk factors.

Apart from the two cholesterol ratios mentioned above, HDL/LDL ratio and LDL/HDL ratio are the other two ratios generally included in any cholesterol test report.