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Atherogenic coefficient – what is it? What is the norm?

Any average person knows that high cholesterol level in the blood is "bad."With a very meager amount of knowledge on the subject, just to see in the column"total cholesterol"or"HDL-cholesterol"the result is higher than normal (before having information about the interpretation of the analyses on questionable sites), a man sits on a rigid diet or, worse, begins to self-medicate and take drugs-the statins.

Meanwhile, to evaluate the results of laboratory tests and to interpret them correctly we need special rules. Individual column descriptions do not allow to make correct conclusion occurring in the body processes. To talk about the risk of developing atherosclerosis and other diseases directly or indirectly due to increased levels of"bad" cholesterol in medical practice introduced a special value: the coefficient of atherogenicity.

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What is atherogenic coefficient in blood test?

Atherogenic coefficient is a balance of "good" cholesterol and total cholesterol, which in the future can go into a bound state (LDL), is a proportional ratio.

What is this ratio?In General, the household level, everyone knows that there is "bad"(or LDL cholesterol) and"good"(HDL-cholesterol) cholesterol. Complex molecules good cholesterol are too large to be absorbed into the fabric, they"assemble"molecules"bad"fatty alcohol and send them for processing to the liver. On the contrary, the"bad" cholesterol deposited on vessel walls and forms plaques, narrowing the lumen of a blood vessel and impairing blood circulation. In addition, the blood circulates well as total cholesterol, it is the substance in the unbound state.

At the moment, this is the most accurate indicator of lipid (fat) metabolism in the organism and risk assessment of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases (although the role of fatty alcohol in the development of pathologies of this kind is debatable).

In addition, the definition of this index can be informative in the following cases:

  • Diagnosis of diseases of the thyroid and liver;

  • Control the dynamics of cholesterol (with medication therapy);
  • Whenprimary preventive examination of the patient.

The rate of atherogenic coefficient

In the calculation of atherogenic coefficient experts use a simple formula:

The coefficient AI (atherogenic Index) = (Total cholesterol – HDL) /HDL

The norm of the atherogenic index varies from lab to lab, in General, this rate is normal in the range of 2 to 2.5 units (but not higher than 3.2 for women and 3.5 for men). A PMI reading above this norm may indicate the presence of atherosclerosis. However, only one coefficient does not allow the accuracy of the claim about the presence of disease.

If the atherogenic index below the specified norm, it is not a cause for concern. Such a result does not matter.

The high coefficient of atherogenicity, what to do?

If the results of laboratory studies revealed a high coefficient, it suggests that the body is formed mainly of "bad" cholesterol. Despite the absence of evidence of a direct and major role of fatty alcohol in the formation of cardiovascular diseases and pathologies, not worth the risk. Should take immediate measures to normalize the indicator.

This can be done in two ways:

  • To change your lifestyle and diet.
  • To start receiving targeted medications.


The rise in the index due to several factors:

  • The presence of harmful habits (Smoking, alcohol abuse, drug use). Psychoactive substances "inhibit" normal fat metabolism and disrupts the synthesis of fats.
  • A sedentary lifestyle. Lack of exercise leads to stagnant processes. Fats and fatty complexes are synthesized too active.

From this we can conclude that for the normalization of the index you need to:

  • Lead a more active lifestyle. Feasible physical activity is able to normalize the concentration of cholesterol in blood and lipid metabolism. A healthy person is recommended to take 4 classes during the week for 35-40 minutes each. If a history of the disease should consult with your doctor to exclude the contraindications and the selection of the optimal mode of physical activity.
  • To abandon bad habits.


It is desirable to limit the use or eliminate the following foods:

  • Sausages;
  • Fatty dairy products (sour cream, cream, butter);
  • Foods rich in TRANS-fats (margarine, spreads based on palm oil, etc.)

On the contrary, to include in the diet should:

  • Fish. Cod, hake, flounder and others. Frying should be deleted, preferring cooking.
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts). Nuts contain monounsaturated fatty compounds and can reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood.

  • Fruits, vegetables. Especially beets. Potatoes are not recommended.
  • Chocolate and green tea.

  • Garlic.

  • Cereal.

And other products containing fats of vegetable and not of animal origin.

Medication — another way to reduce the atherogenic index. However, the statins (drugs to lower cholesterol) have many side effects, their appointment should be strictly on medical advice and in a very limited number of cases.

What factors can affect the result of the analysis?

The result will exceed normal levels if:

  • The patient sits for a long time on a strict diet (close to starvation). To avoid exhaustion, the body begins breaking down fat reserves. Lipids enter the blood stream and can artificially boost the index.
  • Hormonal medications (steroids).
  • The nicotine dependence.
  • Peak hormone-dependent condition. Pregnancy, menstruation, menopause.

The result will be below normal if:

  • The patient sits on gipoholesterinovu diet.
  • The patient takes the drugs-the statins.
  • The patient is actively involved in sports (which is quite debatable).

Thus, the index (or coefficient) AI represents the ratio of total cholesterol to lipoprotein a high density. The indicator characterizes the lipoprotein balance in the body and can assist in identifying early stages of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases caused by high concentration of cholesterol in the blood.

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