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  • Question about cholesterol ratios...

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    Old 09-24-2004, 11:15 AM   #1
    Heidi_B
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    Question about cholesterol ratios...

    Hi!
    My husband (35 yrs) just had his cholesterol measured, and the doctor felt it was pretty good. Numbers:
    TC 5.22
    Tri 0.88
    HDL 1.02
    LDL 3.8

    I get a TC/HDL ratio of 5.12 from this, which I suppose it because his HDL level is relatively low. I thought we were shooting for a number below 4 here?

    A few months I also had my numbers checked, and my doctor felt mine were not that great:

    TC 5.63
    Tri 1.45
    HDL 1.81
    LDL 3.16

    ...but my TC/HDL ratio is 3.11...

    I realize that the ratio is not the only one that matters, but I am nevertheless a bit confused. If you would take the time to comment on our numbers (I am sorry I do not have mg/dl conversions), I would be very appreciative.

    Heidi

     
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    Old 09-24-2004, 11:36 AM   #2
    ty123
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    Heidi, are you in europe or Asia? Are your readings in mmols? Because that is the only way they'd make sense to me. I can convert to the American system...somewhere online there's a conversion tool, but offhand I don't know where.

    TC/HDL ratio levels of 3.5 or less are considered good, less than 3.0 and you're in tall cotton. Above 3.5 the risk begins to moderately increase until you reach 5 and then you're in the high risk category. At 8 or above, start singing, "Nearer my God to Thee".

    mark

    Last edited by mhtyler; 09-24-2004 at 01:54 PM.

     
    Old 09-24-2004, 01:39 PM   #3
    rahod
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    Those are mmol/L. In US units>>> TC=202...HDL=40....LDL=147..TRIGS=78. That TC/HDL is indeed too high (higher risk), as you said....due to the low HDL. An LDL of 147 is also too high with a ratio of LDL/HDL of 3.7 when it should be closer to 2. He will need to RAISE his HDL and LOWER his LDL by at least 20 pts each (US units). Since it's much more difficult to raise that HDL, a more *practical* goal would be to lower the LDL by 40 pts..or 27% and raise the HDL by 10pts (25%).

     
    Old 09-24-2004, 05:54 PM   #4
    ZippyDawg
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    There are three ratios that are helpful in determining risk for CVD.
    • Cholesterol/HDL Ratio (ie Total Cholesterol divided by HDL)
    • HDL Percentage: HDL/Cholesterol X 100 (ie HDL divided by Total Chol X 100)
    • LDL/HDL Risk Ratio (ie LDL divided by HDL)

    If you do a search on Google for Dr. Mercola's website "How to Determine Your Cardiovascular Health" there is a table of the values and the associated risk for the above ratios. There is also some very good info on other CVD risk factors as well.

    Last edited by ZippyDawg; 09-24-2004 at 05:56 PM.

     
    Old 09-25-2004, 10:45 AM   #5
    Heidi_B
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    Thanks everybody for your replies. We are in Canada, which is why the units are mmol/l.

    I was able to find a conversion scale, so the numbers are now as follows in mg/dl:

    Mike:

    TC 202
    Tri 78
    HDL 39
    LDL 147
    CHOL/HDL ratio 5.12

    Myself:
    TC 218
    Tri 128
    HDL 70
    LDL 122
    CHOL/HDL ratio 3.11


    I am still confused...my husband's doctor said that his values were fine while my doctor said that my values were borderline high. But my ratios seem to be better than his? Or was she only concerned with the total TC, which I have heard should be less than 200 (though my HDL is pretty high, right...?).

    What is more important, the numbers themselves or the ratios?

    Thanks again for your patience while explaining this to an obvious newbie...

    Heidi

     
    Old 09-25-2004, 11:01 AM   #6
    ARIZONA73
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    Heidi,

    I believe the ratios are much more important. For example, what good would a low total cholesterol number be if triglycerides were markedly elevated, and all the other numbers were out of wack? I'll take good ratios any day.

     
    Old 09-25-2004, 11:11 AM   #7
    rahod
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Heidi_B
    Thanks everybody for your replies. We are in Canada, which is why the units are mmol/l.

    I was able to find a conversion scale, so the numbers are now as follows in mg/dl:

    Mike:

    TC 202
    Tri 78
    HDL 39
    LDL 147
    CHOL/HDL ratio 5.12

    Myself:
    TC 218
    Tri 128
    HDL 70
    LDL 122
    CHOL/HDL ratio 3.11


    I am still confused...my husband's doctor said that his values were fine while my doctor said that my values were borderline high. But my ratios seem to be better than his? Or was she only concerned with the total TC, which I have heard should be less than 200 (though my HDL is pretty high, right...?).

    What is more important, the numbers themselves or the ratios?

    Thanks again for your patience while explaining this to an obvious newbie...

    Heidi
    Without question , you're in much better shape than your husband. In fact I would say that you're fine, unless you have other risk factors. ASK your Dr his rationale for his "backwards" analysis.

    Last edited by rahod; 09-25-2004 at 11:53 AM.

     
    Old 09-25-2004, 11:13 AM   #8
    ty123
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    arizona73 said, "what good would a low total cholesterol number be if triglycerides were markedly elevated, and all the other numbers were out of wack? I'll take good ratios any day."

    I agree with you, but it is just possible that when cholesterol levels are extraordinarily low as we've been discussing on Rahod's thread about low LDL levels, that the ratios become less important.

    We're talking tc levels below 150 total cholesterol. I could dream up some reasons why that would be, and they would revolve around the efficiency of the individual's HDL, and makeup of LDL, but I'd be more than a little bit over my head. Still, its possible.

    mark

     
    Old 09-25-2004, 12:15 PM   #9
    rahod
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    "I agree with you, but it is just possible that when cholesterol levels are extraordinarily low as we've been discussing on Rahod's thread about low LDL levels, that the ratios become less important"

    That's exactly what I was thinking! There might NOT BE A LINEAR relationship as to the "scavaging" efficacy of HDL as the LDL gets down to very low levels. I still think keeping the HDL as high as possible is always a good thing, but given a choice..I'll take a very low LDL any day.

     
    Old 09-25-2004, 12:56 PM   #10
    ty123
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    We're only shooting in the dark until some study is done on it. I'd love to see a study with people who have cholesterol levels below 150, and then see how those with poor ratios of LDL/HDL fare against the rest of the group.

    The Framingham study shows that if you're under 150, its game over. So...how many with levels 150 or less have wacky lipids? Probably few, but who knows?

    mark

     
    Old 09-25-2004, 01:00 PM   #11
    ty123
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    Hey Heidi,

    Based on the translation of your levels I'd say you're in good shape alright, but it wouldn't hurt you to lower your intake of saturated fat and cholesterol a little and get your LDL number down a bit. Move your cholesterol level just under 200, and your tc to HDL ratio just under 3, and you're in great shape. I think calling your levels "boarderline" is a very superficial analysis.

    As for your husband, he is high risk, and he needs to cut out sat fat, institute a low fat diet in general with less meat and dairy. His LDL is really the only thing seriously out of wack. At the worst, a lower dose of some statin will put him back. His HDL is a little low, but not too far out of the ordinary for men...he'd want it over 40. You both have excellent trigs.

    A little diet tweaking would probably do it all for you, and a bit of med if your hubby doesn't respond enough to diet.

    mark

     
    Old 09-25-2004, 01:25 PM   #12
    rahod
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mhtyler
    We're only shooting in the dark until some study is done on it. I'd love to see a study with people who have cholesterol levels below 150, and then see how those with poor ratios of LDL/HDL fare against the rest of the group.

    The Framingham study shows that if you're under 150, its game over. So...how many with levels 150 or less have wacky lipids? Probably few, but who knows?

    mark
    That would be an interesting study. The reason why Totals of 150 are "game over" is because in 90% of the cases, the resulting LDLs are better than 90 anyway ( Example:using Total 150 with *low* HDL of 40 and Trigs of 100= LDL 90). Im lovin my new found Total of 143

     
    Old 09-25-2004, 02:04 PM   #13
    ARIZONA73
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    I still like these numbers even better:

    TC 234
    HDL 107
    LDL 114
    Trigs 65

    CRP 0.3

    Homocysteine 7.1

     
    Old 09-25-2004, 02:16 PM   #14
    rahod
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ARIZONA73
    I still like these numbers even better:

    TC 234
    HDL 107
    LDL 114
    Trigs 65

    CRP 0.3

    Homocysteine 7.1
    I smell a ******* contest ....did you mean better than mine?
    hehehe>>>>>>TC 143..HDL 74...LDL 54...TRIGS 74.

     
    Old 09-25-2004, 04:08 PM   #15
    ARIZONA73
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    Re: Question about cholesterol ratios...

    Yes, I still think mine are better. I think it's potentially dangerous to artificially lower cholesterol with a high dose statin to levels which are very low. With statins, we're not talking about baby aspirin. These are powerful drugs that carry the potential of numerous side-effects, some of which can be serious, and we still don't know the long-term consequences of using these drugs over a period of decades.

    Everybody talks about how great these drugs are. But are they really? Sure they lower LDL, but they also deplete vitamin E as well, rendering LDL more susceptible to oxidation. LDL also is needed to transport many of your fat-soluble nutrients around your system, such as beat-carotene. If you lower LDL too much, you run the risk of a deficiency. We all know that it depletes coenzyme Q10, which is bad enough. But did you also know that you also run the risk of low DHEA levels if your cholesterol is too low? That's not so good either. The lower your DHEA, the more likely you are to have the degenerative diseases of accelerated aging, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and lowered immunity. Furthermore, statins can also potentially raise lipoprotein(a) levels. That's not so great either. Lipitor which is sold in Canada carries this warning. But here in the U.S such a warning never appears. So, all I'm saying to you is that there is a flip-side to using these drugs, and the potential risks associated with their use are real, not imaginary.

     
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