What information does an LDL-to-HDL ratio chart provide?


Quick Answer

An LDL-HDL ratio chart provides information regarding the relationship between "bad" cholesterol and "good" cholesterol, respectively. A chart may also indicate the relationship between your HDL and total cholesterol levels, as physicians increasingly regard this calculation as more useful. Your cholesterol ratios are one risk indicator for heart disease and stroke, reports the Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Total cholesterol is made up of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein), as well as a factor called triglycerides. Triglycerides are a common type of body fat that vary with sex and age and contribute to fatty deposits within the arteries. The American Heart Association recommends that you and your physician consider all three numbers when assessing your health risks, and all three factors may appear on a LDL-HDL ratio chart. Testing for cholesterol levels is a simple blood test conducted after a fasting-period and reports cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). An optimal cholesterol ratio is 3.5-to-1, when calculated as HDL-to-total cholesterol. Higher ratios indicate higher risk, states the Mayo Clinic.

It is beneficial to have a higher HDL level and a lower LDL level within total cholesterol, according to the CDC. HDL, the "good" cholesterol, absorbs LDL, "bad cholesterol" and helps the liver process and flush it from the body.

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