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Interesting Cholesterol Conversation Today
iride6606 posted:
So I've been on the east coast attending some international economics symposiums this week and had a 4 plus hour plane ride home today. I did what I usually do, pop open the lap top and go online where I was responding to some posts here. The gentleman next to me introduced himself as a doctor and asked why I was in a cholesterol site and if I had a problem with mine. He was a very nice younger doctor from India practicing here where he is an Endocrinologist.

I explained I was a research analyst and had contributed on some of the studies that get bounced around here so I drop in from time to time. We started to discuss cholesterol and I mentioned my frustration over the comment "half of all those that have heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels" to which he gave out a good belly laugh and said "yes, we hear that one all the time but it is nonsense" I asked why and he went on to explain that approx. 65% of people that have heart attacks already have existing heart disease or are on their second or third heart attack. He said "of course they have normal cholesterol levels as they are most likely being treated". He then said of those left, most had high cholesterol and did not know or had other significant risk factors. He said that saying that half the people with heart attacks had normal cholesterol levels is like saying half the people that developed liver disease from drinking we're not drunk at the time so drinking isn't a risk factor. It makes sense.

I asked how likely it would be for some one who has never had high cholesterol or any other risk factors to eventually require bypass surgery, 1 in 10, 20, 30? He said even 1 in 100 may be conservative, he has never seen it. So I asked about the person that has a TC of 300 and never gets heart disease and his answer caught me off guard. He said "who cares, good for them! Why would we point to a person who does not get ill as an anomaly make us rethink what we know?"

I also told him about all the discussion about statins and money and his answer made me laugh. He said if they were spreading money around for prescribing statins that had not got around to he or any of his partners yet.

It was a great last couple of hours on that flight, I thought I would share.

I just thought I would share.
bobby75703 responded:
Glad you had a good flight.

There are physicians who would disagree.
iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
I asked him what the conventional medical thinking was and he gave a very well thought out answer.

"No doctor that respects his profession would ignore any possibility or automatically rule anything out based on personal bias, its called malpractice"

Other doctors can argue the philosophies, but his numbers are right. Doing a little looking tonight he is correct, more than half the people that have heart attacks have previously detected heart disease and are being treated and that number is growing as heart disease victims are living longer due to medical advances. Those people are going to have normal cholesterol levels. If that represents say 60% and there's another projected 20% that have undetected heart disease or high cholesterol that only leaves about 20% of heart attack victims left and many of those may have normal cholesterol levels but have other risk factors like smoking. This really explains how that statement is a mathematical impossibility and is just...... what's the word...... hype.

It was refreshing to speak with some one on this topic that truly has no bias and is open to all possibilities. This man was a true big picture thinker!

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