Martin SS, Blaha MJ, Elshazly MB, Toth PP, Kwiterovich PO, Blumenthal RS, Jones SR. Comparison of a novel method vs the Friedewald equation for estimating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels from the standard lipid profile. JAMA 2013;310:2061-8.

In conjunction with the published manuscript, we have developed this website to provide immediate, free, online access to automated calculation of LDL cholesterol by the novel method using an Excel-based calculator or Stata .do file. This is primarily intended to facilitate external validation studies and studies assessing the clinical importance of this novel LDL cholesterol calculation. Rather than using a fixed factor of 5, this method matches each person with one of 180 different factors to estimate VLDL cholesterol from triglycerides. The inputs are the three direct measures from the standard lipid profile: total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. LDL cholesterol is calculated in mg/dL as:

Total Cholesterol – HDL Cholesterol – Triglycerides/Novel Factor

How to Use with Excel

  1. Organize your research database such that there are three columns for total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (each in mg/dL), with each row representing an individual patient.
  2. Based on the number of rows in your database, download the fitting Excel file (i.e., if you have between 1000 and 2000 rows or patients, then download the “2k" version.)
  3. Copy the values for total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides from your research database into the Excel file; non-HDL-C, the novel factor, and LDL cholesterol by the novel method, will each be automatically calculated.
  4. Copy this information back into your research database, ensuring that the rows properly match each individual patient.

Download the Excel File

Since the speed of the Excel file depends on its size and the computer, we provide versions of various sizes to meet the needs of the particular researcher. Select a file based on the number of rows or patients that you need to calculate. We have password-protected the functions in the calculator to ensure that they are not altered inadvertently.

Excel File Versions

How to Use with Stata

In your Stata dataset, label non-HDL-C (total cholesterol - HDL cholesterol) as "nonhdl" and triglycerides as "tg", then download and run the Stata .do file (link below). Two new variables will be created in your Stata dataset: 1) "factor" (the conversion factor) and 2) "ldl180" (LDL-C by the novel method).

Stata .do


Questions Please direct any questions to Seth S. Martin by email:

Acknowledgment Many thanks to Satish Misra, Gorkem Sevinc, and Katie Hazard for their technical expertise.

This LDL-C calculator is for research or educational use only. For-profit companies or anyone intending to redisplay or incorporate the LDL-C calculator must secure a license from the Johns Hopkins University. Please contact for more information.

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