My doctor said that my cholesterol ratio was bad. What does that mean?

This week's question was from Steve in Visalia: My doctor said that my cholesterol ratio was bad. What does that mean?

Jeff Herr, Doctor of Pharmacy

The ratio looks at how much good cholesterol is in your blood compared to how much total cholesterol is in your blood. This ratio is used by some doctors to predict your risk factor of having or developing coronary heart disease. If you had a total cholesterol of 200 and your HDL, or your good cholesterol was 50, you would have a 4 to 1 ratio. The goal is to have a ratio of less than 5 to 1. Any ratio higher than 5 to 1 suggests that your overall cholesterol level is too high compared to your good cholesterol. If you want to understand this ratio better, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Last Updated Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 11:43 AM.