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Lipoprotein ratios: Physiological significance and clinical usefulness in cardiovascular prevention

Jesús Millán1, Xavier Pintó2, Anna Muñoz3, Manuel Zúñiga4, Joan Rubiés-Prat5, Luis Felipe Pallardo6, Luis Masana7, Alipio Mangas8, Antonio Hernández-Mijares9, Pedro González-Santos10, Juan F Ascaso11, Juan Pedro-Botet12

1Hospital Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; 2Hospital Universitario Bellvitge, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain; 3Solvay Pharma, Barcelona, Spain; 4Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain; 5Hospital Vall d’Hebrón, Barcelona, Spain; 6Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain; 7Hospital Sant Joan, Reus, Tarragona, Spain; 8Hospital Universitario Puerta del Mar, Cádiz, Spain; 9Hospital Universitario Dr Peset, Valencia, Spain; 10Hospital Clínico Universitario Virgen de la Victoria, Málaga, Spain; 11Hospital Clínico Universitario, Valencia, Spain; 12Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain

Abstract: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration has been the prime index of cardiovascular disease risk and the main target for therapy. However, several lipoprotein ratios or “atherogenic indices” have been defined in an attempt to optimize the predictive capacity of the lipid profile. In this review, we summarize their pathophysiological aspects, and highlight the rationale for using these lipoprotein ratios as cardiovascular risk factors in clinical practice, specifying their cut-off risk levels and a target for lipid-lowering therapy. Total/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios are risk indicators with greater predictive value than isolated parameters used independently, particularly LDL. Future recommendations regarding the diagnosis and treatment of dyslipidemia, including instruments for calculating cardiovascular risk or action guidelines, should include the lipoprotein ratios with greater predictive power which, in view of the evidence-based results, are none other than those which include HDL cholesterol.

Keywords: apolipoproteins, cholesterol ratios, predictive power, cardiovascular disorders

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