A study published in 2009 analysed admission cholesterol data in just under 137 thousand patients from 541 hospitals from 2000-2006. In that data set only 25% had LDL cholesterol levels over 130. The majority were within the then recommended LDL cholesterol levels based upon their assumed/known risk at the time of admission. Interestingly over half of these patients had low HDL levels. Low HDL cholesterol keeps bad company in many cases.
There is very ample proof attested by many properly done treatment studies as well as observational findings of genetically determined people with both high LDL cholesterol and low LDL cholesterol that LDL levels are associated with risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and other major vascular events.
What folks don’t know is how complex the cholesterol system really is. Measuring a simple cholesterol panel really is a blunt tool for determining overall risk for a heart attack or other vascular event such as stroke, or leg arterial blockage (peripheral arterial disease).
Advanced lipid testing incorporates measured cholesterol levels, lipoprotein fractionation and particle quantification of the different cholesterol types. My customized panel includes inflammatory markers, oxidation signals and fatty acid nutritional information. This data can go a long ways to finding a significant portion of the “hidden” risk many people have. The results provide clarity by using color coordinated information which visually gets one’s attention. This testing is done from blood analysis. Other than a venipuncture testing involves no patient risk or inconvenience.
I have been using advanced lipid testing in many of my clients for years. Using a custom designed advanced lipid panel and in some cases some one-time measured genetic testing I can more fully assess your near term as well as lifelong risk for the disease that kill appx one in 4 Americans- heart disease. Heart disease includes arteriosclerosis and unstable plaque. When unstable plaque ruptures a thrombosed artery can result. A “heart attack” is when the clotted artery is one of your coronary arteries. People have a main left coronary artery which branches to two other significant branches. The left coronary supplies the left side of your heart which pumps oxygen fresh blood to your tissues. If your left main coronary artery occludes the result is usually massive and fatal. Since more than half of heart attacks occur in men, the left main artery thrombosis is infamously referred to as the “widow-maker” lesion.
Not only do I look at your risk but based upon the information obtained a more intelligent and targeted approach to your cholesterol risk can be designed. Dietary changes, exercise & weight goals along other nutritional goals are often necessary. Internal Medicine, Lipid & Wellness Practice has a dietitian on site to help facilitate these changes. There are ongoing medication developments underway to help achieve LDL lowering in persons unable to tolerate our proven and traditional methods of cholesterol management. We now have 4 approved medications for chronic weight loss management. As a lipidologist I will be at the forefront of these options as and when they become available.
Perhaps you or someone you care about has a history of a heart attack? Maybe you know of someone with a strong family history of heart/vascular disease? Are you having difficulty tolerating your recommended therapy for cholesterol? I encourage you to come see me for a consultation to discuss your issues and concerns. I am eager to help and am happy to work with your regular physician/medical team if that is most suitable. Physician directed consultations are encouraged. Together, we can perform a thorough assessment and then recommend a care plan that you can pursue with as much or as little of my direct input as you and your care team see fit.