What Does the LDLC Approximation Estimate

The Friedewald approximation attempts to estimate the cholesterol content contained in lipoproteins other than HDL with a correction term, TG/5, to reduce the influence of VLDL-C. Even when the approximation was proposed, the correction term was shown not to reflect VLDL-C accurately (11). The term TG/5 probably accounts for TGs in a variety of different lipoproteins. The ~LDL-C approximates the cholesterol content of LDL, IDL, VLDL/VLDL-remnants, and Lp(a) (12). Thus, the term LDL-C is somewhat a misnomer, and the approximation might be thought of as a gage of the cholesterol content of "mixed-density lipoproteins," as shown in Fig. 1. The major source of error in ~LDL-C stems from the enigmatic correction term (13).

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