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Mr R Wood asked...

Why is there such concern over the total cholesterol score?

Why is there such concern over the total cholesterol score when the total includes good and bad cholesterol. Surely someone with HDL@3.5 and LDL@2.5 totalling 6 is better than someone with HDL@2 and LDL@3 totalling 5?

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The answer

Total cholesterol scores individually are not the most accurate way to assess risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A better way to determine this is to look at the amounts of two lipid carrying proteins in the blood (HDL and LDL) in conjunction with total cholesterol. The total amount of cholesterol is not just made up of HDL and LDL, although these two groups are of great importance. It is better to have 'relatively' higher levels of the HDL type (sometimes called good cholesterol) and less of the LDL (bad cholesterol). Dividing the total amount of cholesterol by the HDL type should ideally give a score of around 4.0 or less, but remember that cholesterol is only one risk factor in determining overall cardiovascular risk.

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