Jacques Massé, MD, MSc
To the Editors: Bagatell and colleagues (1) studied the effects of experimentally induced androgen deficiency on levels of serum lipoproteins. To estimate the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, they used the Friedewald formula (2), which they expressed as: LDL cholesterol = total cholesterol - (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol + [triglycerides + 5]). This formula works when conventional units (mg/dL) are used but is inadequate with Système International (SI) units (3). To be used with the latter, the triglycerides must be divided by 2.18 instead of by 5. Because the LDL cholesterol levels reported by the authors in their Table 1 are correct,
Massé J. SI Units and the Friedewald Formula. Ann Intern Med. ;117:876. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-117-10-876_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1992;117(10):876.
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