The terms typically associated with cholesterol include HDL, LDL, Total Cholesterol, and cholesterol ratio.
Cholesterol ratio is the ratio obtained by dividing your Total Cholesterol by your HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins) level. This number gives a good estimate of a person’s probability of developing cardiovascular diseases, especially atherosclerosis, i.e. the hardening of arteries.
Cholesterol Ratio Calculator
For example, having a Total cholesterol level of 162 mg/dL and an HDL level of 44 mg/dL implies a cholesterol ratio of 3.7. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends keeping your cholesterol ratio below 5. Ideally, it should be near 3.5, but anything under 5 also signifies healthy cholesterol levels in the body. A lower cholesterol ratio is preferable as it implies higher portion of HDL in your total cholesterol.
A great tool to determine your Cholesterol Ratio is the Omni Calculator.
Cholesterol ratio only indicates the probability of risk, consult a doctor to helping you decide an appropriate treatment plan. For that, you need to know all your cholesterol levels.
It’s All About Numbers
Looking at the example illustrated above, knowing about your total cholesterol level is not enough. Two people with the same TC level might have different cholesterol ratios and therefore different chances of acquiring negative consequences due to unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Your aim should be to regularly increase your HDL levels as this directly affects your cholesterol ratio. Ideally, a person having a total cholesterol level of 180 should have an HDL level of 40 in males, and 50 in females. This would take cholesterol ratio to approximately 3.6.
Cholesterol Ratio Chart
Different Genders, Different Levels
Women, in general, have higher HDL levels as compared to men. This implies that their cholesterol ratio is naturally lower. The recommended cholesterol ratio for women is 3.3. Meanwhile, a ratio greater 4.4 could imply a risk of cardiovascular diseases. This risk doubles when this ratio goes up to 7.
On the other hand, the recommended cholesterol ratio for men is 3.4. Meanwhile, a ratio greater 5 could imply a risk of cardiovascular diseases. This risk doubles when this ratio goes up to 9.6.
The Bottom Line
In summation, although cholesterol ratio is a great tool to estimate your risk of acquiring cardiovascular disease, your primary goal should still be to keep your LDL level below 80, and it should not exceed 100. This is particularly important for people who are already at a risk for cardiovascular disease. These include people with coronary artery disease, people with a genetic inclination towards high cholesterol, high blood pressure patients, diabetics and smokers.