Prevent A Heart Attack. Know Your Numbers!
The published evidence is quite clear in documenting that the total cholesterol level itself is not the most important risk factor of Cardiovascular Disease.
So, how do you read your own blood work and understand what it may mean?
It is the ratio between the level of HDL – “good” cholesterol and the total cholesterol that we need to be concerned about.
Therefore, in adults, the HDL/Total Cholesterol ratio should be higher than 0.24 (just divide your HDL by your Total Cholesterol numbers).
Or more precisely, the HDL/Total Cholesterol ratio of:
- 0.24 or higher is considered ideal
- 0.24 and lower is considered too low
- 0.10 and below is considered dangerously
Generally speaking, the higher the ratio, the better. The high ratio lowers your risk of having Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and a heart attack.
However, HDL is also closely related to the Triglyceride levels in the blood.
It appears common for people that have Triglyceride levels to then have low HDL levels. These same people also tend to have high levels of clotting factors in their blood stream.
Clotting factors such as Fibrinogen, if they are high, also increases the risk of having CVD.
Therefore, in adults, the Triglyceride to HDL ratio should be below 2.0 to prevent CVD.
Or more precisely, the Triglyceride/HDL ratio of:
- 2.0 or less is considered ideal
- 4.0 is too high
- 6.0 is considered dangerously high
Since HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) is generally protective against Heart Disease, it is better to have a lower ratio.
In other words, in order to lower your ratio, you want a lower number of Triglycerides and a higher number of HDL.
It is now believed that the Triglyceride/HDL Ratio is one of the best indicators of predicting and preventing Heart Disease.
A Harvard-lead study author reported:
– “High Triglycerides alone increased the risk of Heart Attack nearly 3 fold!
– People with the highest ratio of Triglyceride/HDL ratio had 16 times the risk of Hart Attack compared to those who had the lowest ratio! Remember, you want to be around 2.0.
– The study included 340 heart attack patients compared to 340 of their healthy, same age counterparts.
The ratio of Triglycerides/HDL was the strongest predictor of a heart attack, even more accurate than the LDL/HDL ratio that is so highly touted.
Study published in: (Circulation 1997;96:2520-2525)
A paper compliments of Functional Medicine University.
by Ronald Grisanti DC, DABCO, DACBN, MS