What Is A Cholesterol Ratio
You can find your cholesterol ratio by dividing your total cholesterol number by your HDL level. For instance, someone with a total cholesterol count of 200 mg/dl and HDL of 50 mg/dl has a 4-to-1 cholesterol ratio. Your cholesterol ratio is simply one more way to analyze the results of your cholesterol test. A lower ratio tends to signify better health because it reflects low total cholesterol and/or high HDL. In some situations, your doctor might use your cholesterol ratio to help determine your risk of heart disease. Cholesterol is just one important indicator of your overall health.
Treatments For High Cholesterol Levels
If your doctor determines that your cholesterol levels are borderline or too high, they may start you on a management plan to lower your levels. Ways to manage your cholesterol levels include:
Your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medication, like statins, if you are at an increased heart disease risk. Statins are used as a preventive measure because they treat plaque buildup in your arteries.
Diet and lifestyle
According to Erin Michos, M.D., quoted in Johns Hopkins Medicine, diet and lifestyle are very important to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Reducing the amount of saturated fats you eat and exercising for at least 30 minutes a day for five days a week can help you lose weight and reduce your cholesterol levels.
Limit smoking and alcohol intake
If you smoke and your cholesterol levels are high, you are at greater risk for artery buildup which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. If you are able to, you should consider a plan to give up smoking. Limiting your alcohol consumption can also help lower your triglycerides and total cholesterol levels.
How Is An Hdl Cholesterol Test Different From A Low
An HDL cholesterol test and LDL cholesterol test measure different types of cholesterol. The two types of cholesterol are transported in the blood in distinct kinds of particles.
In common descriptions, HDL cholesterol is known as good cholesterol while LDL cholesterol is bad cholesterol. The amount of HDL cholesterol compared to LDL cholesterol can be an important consideration in cardiovascular health.
Measuring HDL cholesterol is more straightforward than measuring LDL cholesterol. For this reason, levels of LDL cholesterol are most often calculated using a formula based on levels of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In some situations, though, a doctor may prescribe a direct LDL test.
Cholesterol Levels For Children
By comparison, acceptable levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in children are different.
- An acceptable range of total cholesterol for a child is less than 170 mg/dL. Borderline high total cholesterol for a child ranges from 170 to 199 mg/dL. Any reading of total cholesterol over 200 in a child is too high.
- A childs LDL cholesterol levels should also be lower than an adults. The optimal range of LDL cholesterol for a child is less than 110 mg/dL. Borderline high is from 110 to 129 mg/dL while high is over 130 mg/dL.
Does Age Make A Difference To Recommended Cholesterol Levels
No, recommended cholesterol levels do not change based on age. It was once thought that high cholesterol becomes less of a problem as one ages.;However, there is now good evidence that lowering high cholesterol is of benefit even in the elderly.;
Previously, there was also concern that some cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins may interfere with ones cognitive function and that this might be more of an issue in the;elderly. This has now been debunked.; Nevertheless, it is worth starting with a low dose and gradually increasing to avoid any potential side effects.
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What Cholesterol Levels Mean And Why They Matter
If you or loved ones have high cholesterol, you probably already know it’s a cause for concern. The levels of cholesterol in your blood are linked to a risk for cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks and strokes. But even if your cholesterol levels are normal, you need to be mindful of what cholesterol is and what you can do to keep your numbers in a healthy range.
Thankfully, finding out your cholesterol level is a relatively painless process. And once you know those numbers, you can better adjust your lifestyle and medications to improve your health.
How Can You Prevent High Cholesterol Levels And Coronary Heart Disease
Prevention methods are very much the same as treatment methods. First, dont smoke. If you do smoke, make plans to quit now. Find ways to add physical activity to each of your days. Take steps to keep your weight in a healthy range. Eat well. Consider following the Mediterranean diet. It is the only diet proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. Take care of any other medical conditions you might have by following your healthcare providers advice and instructions. Learn to really relax and calm down.
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Better Predictor Than Ldl
In studies of patients with hypertriglyceridemia , it has been possible to establish a direct association between the values of non-HDL-C and the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, this correlation being better than that observed when evaluating LDL-C.
In the case of male patients with high levels of Non-HDL-C, they have twice the risk of death from cardiovascular disease than their counterparts with low levels, while in female patients, the risk of death was approximately two and a half times higher. This is of major importance, since high values of LDL-C, have lower risk predictive power, especially in women.
Healthy Normal Cholesterol Range
Raised cholesterol level itself is not the problem. But, it indicates there is a problem somewhere such as inflammation, infection, etc. The cholesterol level raises to heal the inflammation, eradicate infection, remove toxins, etc.
Lipid panel test is the most used test. It is useful for the assessment of different lipids in the blood. It provides total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides levels.
Here we are trying to provide healthy ranges of Total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C, and triglyceride. This individual range does not provide useful information. But, you can calculate TG/HDL-C ratio and Non-HDL-C to make it useful.
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What Does The Test Measure
An HDL cholesterol test analyzes a sample of blood to see how much cholesterol is present within high-density lipoprotein particles. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is important for basic cell function. Cholesterol is transported through the body in the blood within lipoproteins, which are made up of fat and protein.
There are multiple kinds of lipoproteins that can carry cholesterol including high-density lipoproteins, low-density lipoproteins , and very low-density lipoproteins .
Cholesterol in LDL and VLDL particles can build up in the arteries and cause cardiovascular problems. In contrast, HDL particles transport cholesterol to the liver so that it can be eliminated from the body. Through this and other functions, HDL cholesterol helps protect against hardening and blockages of the arteries.
In practice, virtually all HDL cholesterol tests also measure total cholesterol, which is the sum of cholesterol found in all the different kinds of lipoproteins. By subtracting HDL cholesterol from total cholesterol, the doctor can determine the amount of non-HDL cholesterol that is present. In addition, tests like a lipid panel use a mathematical formula to calculate the amount of LDL cholesterol in your blood sample.
How To Lower Cholesterol: Know Your Fats
The American Heart Association recommends that just 25% to 35% of your daily calories come from fats such as those found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. For healthy people, saturated fat should comprise no more than 7% of your total calories. On a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet, that’s about 140 calories worth of saturated fat. If you need to lower your LDL cholesterol, limit saturated fat to 5% to 6% of calories, or about 11 to 13 grams of saturated fat on a 2,000-calorie diet. Reduce trans fats to less than 1% of your total daily calories. This means avoiding fried foods and many junk foods.
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What Can I Do If My Hdl Cholesterol Level Is Low
If your HDL is low, you can take several steps to boost your HDL level and reduce your heart disease risk:
- Exercise. Aerobic exercise for 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week can help pump up HDL.
- Quit smoking. Tobacco smoke lowers HDL, and quitting can increase HDL levels.
- Keep a healthy weight. Besides improving HDL levels, avoiding obesity reduces risk for heart disease and multiple other health conditions.
In certain cases, your doctor may recommend medication to improve your cholesterol level. Remember that multiple factors besides cholesterol contribute to heart disease. Diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and genetics are all important as well.
Because so many factors contribute to heart disease, cholesterol isn’t everything. People with normal HDL cholesterol can have heart disease. And people with low HDL levels can have healthy hearts. Overall, though, people who have low HDL cholesterol will have greater risk of developing heart disease than people with high HDL levels.
Experts recommend follow-up cholesterol testing every five years for most people. People with abnormal lipid panels, or who have other risk factors, may need more frequent cholesterol tests.
If you have high cholesterol or low HDL levels, take steps to increase HDL cholesterol such as eating right, exercising regularly, and not smoking. Lifestyle changes can make a big difference for most people and may prevent heart disease and stroke.
What To Know About Triglycerides
In addition to cholesterol, you might hear about your triglycerides, another kind of fat found in the bloodstream. Women should pay particular attention to this. A high level of triglycerides seems to predict an even greater risk for heart disease in women compared with men, says Michos.
When you take in more calories than you need, your body converts the extra calories into triglycerides, which are then stored in fat cells. Triglycerides are used by the body for energy, but people with excess triglycerides have higher risk of medical problems, including cardiovascular disease. Drinking a lot of alcohol and eating foods containing simple carbohydrates , saturated fats and trans fats contributes to high triglycerides. High levels may also be caused by health conditions such as diabetes, an underactive thyroid, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome or kidney disease.
Triglycerides also circulate in the bloodstream on particles that may contribute to plaque formation. Many people with high triglycerides have other risk factors for atherosclerosis, including high LDL levels or low HDL levels, or abnormal blood sugar levels. Genetic studies have also shown some association between triglycerides and cardiovascular disease.
High Cholesterol: Prevention, Treatment and Research
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How Often Should I Get A Cholesterol Test
When and how often you should get a cholesterol test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:
For people who are age 19 or younger:
- The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
- Children should have the test again every 5 years
- Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke
For people who are age 20 or older:
- Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
- Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years
Easier To Determine Than Ldl
The determination of non-HDL cholesterol levels has certain advantages compared to the estimation of LDL levels by the Friedewald formula, since its estimation may be inadequate in subjects with dyslipidemias. Additionally, the non-HDL cholesterol can be determined even in patients who are not fasting. It is a quick and simple way to estimate cardiovascular risk, which requires only the total cholesterol and HDL values, for its determination. By including potentially atherogenic lipoproteins, its determination is very useful for the evaluation of treatments that reduce cardiovascular risk.
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What Your Numbers Mean
Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood . Your total blood cholesterol is the number you normally receive with your test results. To determine your risk for heart disease, it’s also important to know how this number breaks down into LDL cholesterol , HDL cholesterol , and triglyceride levels.
Here’s a guide to interpreting your test results:
Total Blood Cholesterol Level
Your total blood cholesterol will fall into one of these categories:
Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dLIn this range, your heart attack or stroke risk is relatively low, unless you have other risk factors. Almost half of adults have total cholesterol levels below 200 mg/dL. Have your cholesterol levels measured every five years-or more often if you’re a man over 45 or a woman over 55.
Borderline high risk: 200-239 mg/dLAbout a third of American adults are in this group. Have your cholesterol and HDL rechecked in one to two years if your total cholesterol is in this range; if your HDL is less than 40 mg/dL; or if you don’t have other risk factors for heart disease.Talk to your healthcare provider about managing your individual risk.
High risk: 240 mg/dL and overAbout 20 percent of the U.S. population has high blood cholesterol levels. Your risk of heart attack and stroke is greater in this range. In general, people who have a total cholesterol level of 240 mg/dL have twice the risk of coronary heart disease as people whose cholesterol level is 200 mg/dL.
LDL Cholesterol Level
How Much Does The Test Cost
The price for HDL cholesterol testing is variable. Factors that can influence the cost of cholesterol testing include which measurements are included, where the blood sample is taken, and whether you have health insurance.
There may be separate charges for your blood draw, office visits, and laboratory analysis. In many cases, these costs will be at least partially covered by your health insurance if the HDL cholesterol test is recommended by your doctor. You can check with your health care plan for information about costs including a deductible or copayments.
Some health clinics or pharmacies have set prices for point-of-care cholesterol tests. In addition, point-of-care testing may be available for free or at a low cost at community events like health fairs.
At-home test kits differ dramatically in price. Devices that analyze cholesterol from a drop of blood can cost from under $150 to several hundred dollars. If repeat testing is needed, some tests allow you to purchase additional test strips.
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High Blood Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a type of fat that circulates in your blood.; Too much of it increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
The condition doesn’t have any obvious symptoms so blood tests are required to confirm if a person has high blood cholesterol.
Changes to diet, regular exercise and other lifestyle changes can reduce cholesterol levels; In some cases, people with persistent high blood cholesterol may be treated with cholesterol-lowering medication.
Other Lipid Panel Components
Your test results might also include additional measurements:
- Non-HDL cholesterol: The number reflects your total cholesterol minus HDL.
- Very-low-density lipoprotein : It’s similar to LDL cholesterol, but while low-density lipoproteins mostly carry cholesterol to your tissues, very-low-density lipoproteins transport triglycerides.
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Put together, all these test measures give your doctor a detailed glimpse of your blood’s lipid content and thus your risk of restricted blood flow and heart disease.
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Cholesterol Levels In Women
As noted, women with healthy cholesterol levels have slightly higher HDL counts than men. That’s because estrogen increases HDL cholesterol and lowers LDL cholesterol, as noted in the Circulation study.
Because of estrogen’s protective effects, women tend to have a lower risk of heart disease before the age of 65. Once women have gone through menopause, their risk of heart attack and stroke is equal to men’s risk.
While men and women have similar targets numbers for total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, women need to aim a little higher when it comes to HDL. The goal is 50 mg/dl or higher.
What Types Of Cholesterol Are There
There are two different types of cholesterol including:
- “Bad Cholesterol” ;which carry cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL cholesterol is bad because it builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow which can increase the risk of a heart attack.
- “Good Cholesterol” ;which picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to the liver. Having high HDL is linked to lower risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.;
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Measuring Hdl Concentration And Sizes
As technology has reduced costs and clinical trials have continued to demonstrate the importance of HDL, methods for directly measuring HDL concentrations and size at lower costs have become more widely available and increasingly regarded as important for assessing individual risk for progressive arterial disease and treatment methods.
Ldl Cholesterol: ‘bad’ Cholesterol
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, is the type that tends to deposit on the walls of the arteries. White blood cells combine with the LDL cholesterol, forming artery-narrowing plaque, which restricts blood flow. The optimal level of LDL cholesterol for most people is 100 mg/dL or lower. If you have heart disease, you may need to strive for LDL levels of 70 mg/dL or lower.
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General Information And Causes
Cholesterol is a white, waxy substance that is circulated in the blood. It is essential for your good health as it helps to build cell walls and is used in the manufacture of some hormones.;
However, when there is more cholesterol circulating in the blood than the body needs, it can build up on your artery walls, eventually leading to narrowing and hardening of the arteries. This process is known as atherosclerosis and increases the risk of heart attack,;stroke;and other cardiovascular diseases. More than half of New Zealanders admitted to hospital with a heart attack have high cholesterol levels.
This risk of a cardiovascular health event increases when high blood cholesterol is accompanied by other risk factors such as high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease.;
Your liver produces most of the cholesterol circulating in your blood.; A diet high in saturated fat stimulates the liver to produce more cholesterol so the saturated fat content of the food you eat is likely to have a strong influence on your blood cholesterol levels.;
A small proportion of your blood cholesterol is derived from dietary cholesterol – i.e. cholesterol that is already present in animal foods you might consume .
Other factors that may influence your blood cholesterol levels include:
- Genetic susceptibility to high cholesterol