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Blood Cholesterol

December 28, 1986

A recent article (View, Dec. 19) by Isaac Asimov on the subject of blood cholesterol and health was very well done and easily understood. There was an important omission, however: no reference was made to high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL). This may appear rather esoteric, but the HDL/LDL ratio is of critical importance in the evaluation of the relevance of the blood-cholesterol level to the well-being of the individual involved.

For example, a blood cholesterol level of 240 mg/100 cc with a favorable HDL/LDL ratio, may be just as healthy, or more so, than a level of 180, as mentioned as optimal, with an unfavorable HDL/LDL ratio.

I admit that the HDL/LDL ratio is rarely, if ever, mentioned in the lay media, but if it were a blood cholesterol level over 180 might not be taken so seriously.

A. FLETCHER HALL, M.D.

Pacific Palisades

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