TC/HDL Ratio


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Lipid tests measure blood levels of total cholesterol, HDL (good cholesterol), non-HDL cholesterol, and sometimes triglycerides. These tests help assess the risk of heart disease. It's vital for adults, especially those with heart disease risk factors, to get tested. Preparation often involves fasting for 10-14 hours. Results include various measurements, with specific levels indicating healthy or high cholesterol. The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL can also be calculated, providing further insights into heart disease risk. Discussing results with a healthcare professional is crucial for understanding and managing cholesterol levels effectively.

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Purpose of the test

Cholesterol tests aim to measure the levels of different types of cholesterol in the blood. This includes total cholesterol, HDL (good cholesterol), non-HDL cholesterol (which encompasses all the 'bad' cholesterol types), and sometimes triglycerides. The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (TC:HDL ratio) can also be determined. This ratio provides insights into one's risk for heart disease. The objective is to ensure that cholesterol levels are within the recommended range to prevent cardiovascular diseases and other related health issues.

Who Should Get Tested

Everyone, especially adults, should be aware of their cholesterol levels. Regular cholesterol testing is crucial for individuals with risk factors for heart disease, such as a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, or other health conditions like diabetes. Women may experience changes in cholesterol levels during pregnancy and menopause, so they should be tested accordingly. It's also essential for those who have a history of high cholesterol or are on cholesterol-lowering medications.

Preparing for the Test
Depending on the type of cholesterol test, you may be required to fast for 9 to 12 hours before the test. This means avoiding all food and drinks except water. Fasting is usually required for a lipid panel, which measures LDL and HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Inform your healthcare provider about any medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medications and supplements, as they can affect your test results.
Avoid alcohol consumption for at least 24 hours before the test, as alcohol can raise triglyceride levels.
Avoid heavy exercise for 24 hours before the test, as this can also affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Avoid smoking or using any nicotine products for at least 30 minutes before the test, as they can temporarily increase cholesterol levels.
Follow instructions
Follow any specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider, such as the time of day to take the test or any dietary restrictions.
Interpreting Test Results

Cholesterol test results will include various measurements. A healthy total cholesterol level is below 5.0 mmol/L. HDL cholesterol levels should ideally be above 1.0 mmol/L for men and above 1.2 mmol/L for women. The TC:HDL ratio should be as low as possible, with anything above 6 considered high. Non-HDL cholesterol should be below 4.0 mmol/L. If triglycerides are measured, fasting levels should ideally be below 1.7mmol/L. It's essential to discuss the results with a healthcare professional to understand their implications and get recommendations for any necessary lifestyle changes or treatments.

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