I have banged on about how alternative lipid readings are better predictors of potential heart disease but alas these tests are not free on the UK NH service. Does this mean the free tests we can get are useless?. Well if you simply check your cholesterol levels and your LDL levels then probably yes, because as I have stated before around 50% of heart attack victims have ‘good’ levels of LDL. There is one predictive ratio however that you can glean from this data and that is the TG/HDL ratio. You can also get your C reactive Protein figures via the NHS too although you have to request these as part of your test.
This link gives a very good account of the TG/HDL ratio amongst other useful information. This passage is quoted from it
“The importance of the TG/HDL ratio can be seen from the recently published results of the ongoing Copenhagen Male Study, which studied the effect this ratio has on the long-term development of heart disease. The researchers tracked healthy patients who had either a low TG/HDL ratio (less than 1.7) or a high TG/HDL ratio (greater than 6). They were amazed to find that the patients with the low TG/HDL ratio who smoked, didn’t exercise, had hypertension, and had elevated levels of LDL cholesterol had a much lower risk of developing heart disease than those who had a far better lifestyle but a higher TG/HDL ratio. This indicated that lowering your TG/HDL ratio may have a far greater impact on whether you develop heart disease than adopting a better lifestyle. Does this mean you should smoke, stay sedentary, and not worry about your blood pressure or cholesterol levels? Not at all, but it does indicate that you need to significantly focus your efforts to lower your TG/HDL ratio if your goal is to reduce heart disease.”