Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Comparing the best State, to the worst State
    bobby75703 posted:
    The following map is from the CDC. The cholesterol numbers on Minnesota and Mississippi are my notations.

    According to data from Quest labs in 2004, both Minnesota and Mississippi were within 1/10th of a percent in LDL cholesterol, equal to or greater than 130mg/dl.

    In simple English, both states had the same percentage of people testing with high "bad" cholesterol, yet Minnesota has the lowest death rates from heart disease, and Mississippi has the highest.

    The difference in total cholesterol was insignificant.
    bobby75703 responded:
    iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
    I guess some one other than you should reply to you thread so here goes.

    Let me sum up where you're heading here. You are saying that since both regions have a similar number of the population with an LDL greater than 130 and there is not a consistent rate of death from heart disease, then LDL is not a risk factor. Is this correct?

    You have the same problem with this supposition as your McDonald's theory, there are more variables not accounted for. You would need to account for the prevalence of all other risk factors by region and more importantly the quality of health care by region. The deep south is notorious for having less people receiving proper health care so they would not benefit from traditional treatment for heart disease so their rate of death would be higher than an area like Minnesota which has one of the highest level of health care in the country.

    You can draw this conclusion properly with considerably more data and work.

    For what it's worth.

    bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
    Yes, the other risk factors such as diet, lifestyle, lack of healthcare, air pollution, exercise, availability of healthcare, etc make the difference between the two states, exactly as you point out.

    Serum LDL levels are irrelevant as they are essentially no different.
    iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
    No, you're using the above to prove a negative, doesn't work that way. In fact it proves the opposite by stating that given the same level of medical care and preventive treatment, the two regions would have a comparable death rate. The LDL levels are the constant and the level of medical care is what is different so in fact this may well prove that LDL is a major risk factor.

    I have gone back and read many of your old posts and you seem to have a real desire to disprove the cholesterol theory, why is that? Also, it looks like you have stated you were leaving an a couple occasions, yet here you are. Just curious, what is the issue?

    bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
    There are many populations throughout the world that have cholesterol levels essentially the same, yet differ greatly in heart disease death rates. Its not just Minnesota and Mississippi.

    Another example would be France and the UK. Despite the two country's cholesterol being essentially the same, with LDL the same, the UK suffers a heart disease rate 3 to 4 times that of France.

    Likewise, the Ukraine takes the gold or silver medal for the highest heart disease death rates in the world, yet they have nothing wrong with their cholesterol levels. Normal.

    To answer your question, I have a passion for the subject of heart disease. I lost my father to heart disease. I have experienced the devastating effects of cholesterol lowering drugs, and witnessed many others suffer needlessly from them.

    I did stop posting here, but visited the site one day and saw your response to my posting a while back. Then found myself back in the conversation.

    Have a nice day.

    iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
    Thanks for the explanation, just wondered why you were doing the cut and run.

    As far as your statements above, again they don't mean anything. For example, the UK has socialized medicine and despite what many think, their health care is sub par. They wait months to see doctors and are very limited on the meds they are given which is one reason they can get statins over the counter. France on the other hand has a very strong private sector medical system which provides far superior care. In fact, many Brits go to France for health care so it stands to reason the UK has a higher rate of deaths.

    As far as the Ukraine goes, I did a little research and spoke with some associates that spend their time working in our health care think tanks after reading your post and they showed me data in which the cause of death in the Ukraine is not accurate as they have no standards. Many deaths are recorded as being heart related that would not be in this country, if it looks like heart disease and there is no other obvious cause, then heart disease it is so the numbers are meaningless Again, you make some blanket statements obviously based on bad data that you picked up from the Internet, it is not always reliable and requires a little more analysis. Nothing I have seen points to cholesterol not being a major risk factory, just my thoughts.

    Sorry for your loss,

    bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
    "... the numbers are meaningless Again, you make some blanket statements obviously based on bad data that you picked up from the Internet"
    If you consider data from the World Health Organization as bad or meaningless data.

    I always try to research Data from reliable sources such as the CDC, National Institutes of Health, WHO, and PubMed.

    While the world is not perfect, and there is always a small margin of error, I personally wouldn't write these sources off as "bad data"

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
    bobby75703 replied to bobby75703's response:
    As far as the UK and France is concerned-

    There are numerous theories why The UK has a death rate from heart disease almost 4 times that of France despite cholesterol levels being the same. I honestly couldn't tell you why.
    iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
    Yes, I do feel it is meaningless information. If the cause of death due to heart disease is being overstated, it can't be used as a comparison. The Ukraine does not have the same medical standards as more developed countries concerning autopsies and determining the cause of death, the numbers are garbage in, garbage out.
    iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
    I just explained why, do you not accept my premise?
    bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
    No, and here is why.

    The traditional rural Greenland Inuit had less access to healthcare than the UK.( Some of them perhaps no access to healthcare.) Yet despite having cholesterol levels higher than the UK, they had mysteriously clean arteries, and the least heart disease in the world.
    billh99 replied to bobby75703's response:
    Where do you think that the WHO gets it's data from? The reports from the different country's.

    Here is what the WHO says.

    Although the International Classification of Diseases is intended to provide a standard way of recording underlying cause of death, comparison of cause of death data over time and across countries should be undertaken with caution.
    Accuracy in diagnosing causes of death still varies from one country to another. In addition the process of coding underlying causes of death involves some extent of misattribution or miscoding even in countries where causes are assigned by medically qualified staff. Main reasons are incorrect or systematic biases in diagnosis, incorrect or incomplete death certificates, misinterpretation of ICD rules for selection of the underlying cause, and variations in the use of coding categories for unknown and ill-defined causes.

    Considerable differences exist in the degree of completeness of the vital registration data submitted by countries. In some countries, the vital registration data system covers only a part of the country (for example urban areas, or some provinces only). In some other countries, although the vital registration data system covers the whole country, not all deaths are registered.
    Death registration coverage and cross-national differences in coding practices, particularly in the use of codes for ill-defined and unknown causes, must be taken into account to validly compare mortality rates for specific causes across countries. Additionally, where coverage is less than 100%, the cause of death distribution for the uncovered population may differ from that of the covered population.
    bobby75703 replied to billh99's response:
    I don't expect perfection in reporting. But we are not so incompetent we cannot recognize certain health conditions/ diseases are more prevalent in certain areas.
    iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
    No surprise there either. I just looked up the information on the tribe you mentioned with the "health nuts" here and there are quite a few papers published about them. Although their LDL is high, it looks like their HDL is very high and tris are very low as a result of the diet rich in deep sea fish. It would stand to reason that they would have less deaths to heart disease even though their totals are elevated if I understand this correctly. To me this makes perfect sense, I don't see a smoking gun there either.

    I certainly have not seen anything in your posts that would make me feel as though LDL is not a risk factor, but perhaps I'm looking at it too simplistically.

    Featuring Experts

    There are no Expert stories for this community right now

    Helpful Tips

    Fasting before a cholesterol test
    Interesting................ More
    Was this Helpful?
    0 of 0 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.