Cholesterol is lipid substance necessary for normal functioning of the human body. It is vital part of all human cells and human body needs cholesterol to produce steroid hormones, vitamins and bile juices. This substance is formed in the cells of the liver and with the help of lipoproteins transported to the blood. There are several types of cholesterol, depending on the density of lipoproteins. Two of those are mostly talked about: HDL and LDL cholesterol.
About HDL and LDL
HDL stands for high density lipoproteins and this type of cholesterol is “good” player. HDL transports about 30% of unused cholesterol from the blood to the liver if the person is healthy. This cholesterol can be used again or excreted from the body, avoiding accumulation of cholesterol in blood vessels and possible health complications. This is why HDL is considered to be “good” cholesterol. Normal level of HDL cholesterol (more than 60mg/dl) protects the person from cardiovascular diseases, while less than 40mg/dl of HDL is considered to be exposing the patient to high risk of cardiovascular and heart diseases.
Low density lipoproteins or LDL is known as “bad” cholesterol, responsible for transfer of cholesterol from the liver to the blood. Too much LDL and patient’s blood vessels will start to accumulate cholesterol in the lining, which can narrow the arteries and cause the risk for development of many heart and cardiovascular problems. Because of this, doctors advise keeping LDL under 100mg/dl.
What is HDL LDL ratio?
Level of cholesterol in the body is measured using blood test. Results of blood test will show amounts of HDL and LDL, as well as the HDL LDL ratio.
HDL LDL ratio is calculated dividing concentrations of these lipoproteins in mg/dl. As normal HDL LDL ratio, doctors consider values above 0.4 or at least higher than 0.3.
Another option is to calculate LDL HDL ratio. According to the standards, in ideal case a person should have this ratio at 2.5:1, but as normal most doctors agree on values under 3.5:1.
Hypercholesterolemia is condition which must be taken care of, because of the consequences on the health. A person suffering from heightened cholesterol and low HDL LDL (or high LDL HDL) ratio is known to be more likely to develop cardiovascular problems and heart diseases than other people.
The doctor will examine your risk factors and determine proper treatment if necessary. Lifestyle changes and medications are common treatment measures used to lower high cholesterol in the blood.