Blood cholesterol levels are generally accepted as pivotal in the development of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease. The desired normal LDL/HDL-cholesterol ratio is reported to be between 3 and 4. This ratio may also play an important role in the development of these diseases. Data of 385 patients (anonymous) were extracted from a cholesterol database collected over the period January-June 2002 in a University hospital. Total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol were measured (mmol/L). The LDL/HDL-cholesterol ratios were calculated and grouped together in stratums with a comparable ratio (0-1, 1-2, 2-3, etc). The plasma cholesterol concentrations ranged between 2 and 25 mmol/L, LDL-cholesterol levels between 1 and 22 mmol/L and HDL-cholesterol levels between 0.3 and 3.5 mmol/L. The LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios were between 0.5 and 50, the mean LDL/HDL-cholesterol ratio was 3-4. Iso-rational (regression) lines can be constructed of the LDL/HDL-cholesterol ratio stratums <1, 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, etc. In each stratum the concentration of both HDL and LDL-cholesterol varied 10-fold. The large inter-subject variation in LDL/HDL-cholesterol ratios suggests that the preferred ratio of 3-4 should be assessed in the light of the actual LDL and HDL-cholesterol concentrations. This should be taken into account in the evaluation of the overall cholesterol data and cardiovascular risk evaluation in cholesterol lowering treatment.
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