Saturday, April 28, 2007

Millimoles and Milligrams

I live in a country that uses mmol/L (mmol per litre) as the units for measurement of blood glucose and cholesterol levels, the most common lab numbers used for diabetes management. Most of the world uses that system – but the USA does not. The USA and several other countries use mg/dl (milligrams per decilitre). I havent the faintest idea why, but it can be very useful to be able to convert from one to the other.

My source for the conversion numbers is GlobalRPh.com.

Cholesterol

To convert from mmol/L to mg/dl for Cholesterol (total, LDL, HDL, VLDL) divide by 0.0259 or multiply by 38.6.

For Triglycerides divide by 0.0113 or multiply by 88.5.

Lipids ratios are mentioned in several papers discussing their relevance to cardiac risk and insulin resistance; remember to use conversions before applying US numbers. For example, based on those papers the triglycerides/HDL ratio should be under 1.3 for mmol/L and under 3.0 for mg/dl.

Blood Glucose

The conversion rate can be done either by multiplying by 18 (so 5.5 mmol becomes 99, but I usually round to the nearest 5, so 5.5 => 100) or divide by .0555 if you want to get totally accurate. The exact multiplier is 18.018. When accuracy is not critical, using a multiplier of 20 can be quick and useful.

Finally, a quick ready reckoner to convert blood glucose meter readings:

mg/dl mmol/L
100.........5.6
105.........5.8
110.........6.1
115.........6.4
120.........6.7
125.........6.9
130.........7.2
135.........7.5
140.........7.8
145.........8.0
150.........8.3
155.........8.6
160.........8.9
165.........9.2
170.........9.4
175.........9.7
180.......10.0
185.......10.3
190.......10.5
195.......10.8
200.......11.1
250.......13.9
300.......16.7
400.......22.2
500.......27.8

Cheers, Alan

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

good site, allan.

only i think there is a misprint regarding millmle and milligrams..mlgrams are teh Larger numbers, and millimoles the smaller ones.
the list you have provided has the units placed oppositely

Alan said...

Well spotted - that error has been there for over a year.

Corrected, thanks:-)

Cheers, Alan

Anonymous said...

Hi Allan,
Thank you very much for this.
I am from Brazil and I moved to UK. It is really complicated when it comes to measure my diabetes type I.
This information was really helpful!
Cheers

Anonymous said...

very Good postThank you!