When your health-care professional orders your blood cholesterol levels to be checked, he or she will interpret and discuss the results such as your cholesterol ratio and total cholesterol numbers (HDL, LDL, and VLDL), and what they each mean.
To calculate your cholesterol ratio, divide your total cholesterol number by your HDL cholesterol number. For example, if you have a total cholesterol score of 200 and an HDL score of 40; divide 200 by 40 and this equals a ratio of 5 to 1. The lower the ratio, the lower your risk of heart disease. Doctors recommend keeping your ratio 5 to 1 or lower. The optimal ratio is 3.5 to 1. While this ratio can be helpful in assessing risk for heart disease, your doctor will take into account your entire cholesterol profile and tell you what treatment is best for you.