Why do doctors usually use the LDL/HDL ratio over the TG/HDL ratio in determining a person’s CAD risk?

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When comparing “good cholesterol” (HDL) to “bad cholesterol” (LDL), there is a ratio that may be used. When using it, the goal is to keep the ratio of HDL/LDL above 0.3, with the ideal being above 0.4.

HDL picks up extra cholesterol in the blood and returns it to the liver. LDL is the main transporter of cholesterol in the body. Too much LDL over many years can result in atherosclerosis (the narrowing and hardening of arteries) and lead to heart disease or a heart attack.

The ratio of HDL/LDL looks at the ratio of good cholesterol (HDL) to bad cholesterol (LDL). The ratio is determined by dividing the LDL cholesterol into the HDL cholesterol. For example, if a person has a HDL cholesterol of 50 mg/dL and an LDL cholesterol of 150 mg/dL, the HDL/LDL ratio would be 0.33. The goal is to keep the ratio above 0.3, with the ideal HDL/LDL ratio being above 0.4

At this time, it is generally believed that the absolute cholesterol numbers are more useful when planning treatment than using the ratio.

TG/HDL ratio

The Triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol ratio predicts the extent of coronary disease, according to a recent study. Coronary artery disease was positively related to the total triglyceride level and to TG/HDL-C. A high TG/HDL ratio has been indicated as evidence of insulin resistance in overweight patients, and in the evaluation of cardio vascular risk of hypertensive patients without Metabolic Syndrome.

Like with the HDL/LDL ratio, it is a lot simpler to look at all factors and attempt correct the abnormal results with diet, exercise and other life style modifications in addition to treatment with medications such as statins.

Take a look here for more information about your cholesterol:


Diet & Exercise:


Calculate your risks:


Hope this helps,

Dr T,


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