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[IP] cholesterol question



For low risk people, recommended levels are (according to the lab I just got 
my results from):

LDL <  130 mg/dL
HDL > 40 mg/dL
TC (total cholesterol) < 200 mg/dL
TG (Triglycerides) < 150 mg/dL
Chol/HDL ratio < 4.4

For high risk people, LDL should be below 100 and some doctors want it below 
70 if you are at a very high risk (or have already had a heart attack).

Total cholesterol, Triglycerides, and HDL are tested, LDL is calculated 
based on the first three results with the formula below:

LDL = TC - HDL - TG/5

Many diabetics have very high triglyceride readings, which can make the 
calculation of LDL less accurate.  The TG/5 part of the equation counts for 
the VLDL (very low density lipoproteins) because the VLDL carries most of 
the triglycerides in the blood, but if your TGs are very high, this may not 
be true anymore.  Total cholesterol is (realistically) the sum of LDL, HDL 
and VLDL.

HDL is generally considered good (protective), and you want it to be as high 
as possible.  That is why the TC/HDL ratio is measured.  There is some 
argument over which component is most important in calculating risk factor, 
and the TC/HDL seems to be weighted heavily at the moment (this could 
certainly change as more studies are done).  You want that number to be less 
than 4.4 (which is 200/45, or the highest recommended TC over the lowest 
recommended HDL).

Levels correlating to risk for men (women)

Recommended < 4.5 (< 4.0)

Very low, 1/2 average  < 3.4 (< 3.3)
Low 4.0 (3.8)
Average 5.0 (4.5)
Moderate, 2x average 9.5 (7.0)
High, 3x average >23 (>11)

So my lipid profile:

LDL 97
HDL 82
TC 190
TG 53
Ratio 2.3

puts me at fairly low risk even though my total cholesterol and my LDL are 
approaching the maximum recommended levels because my HDL is quite high.

Sarah, dx'92, pumping'00
.
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