To the Editor: Physician offers his health advice
Written by W.E. Feeman Jr., MD   
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 10:18
February is "Go Red for Women" month, the goal being the prevention of heart attacks and strokes (group together as atherothrombotic disease, or ATD).  There are numerous commentaries on this topic.  No one is getting it right.  
The main ATD risk factors are cigarette smoking, cholesterol disorders (sometimes called "dyslipidemia"), and high blood pressure. The risk factors for AD in women are the same as in men, though the type of cholesterol disorder is different in women than in men., depending on cigarette smoking status.  The pattern in non-smoking women and men is high LDL ("bad") cholesterol, whereas the pattern in smoking women and men is low HDL ("good") cholesterol.  There is overlap between the two groups.  In the low HDL group, the total cholesterol may be quite normal, so reliance of total cholesterol is rarely if ever a good idea.  
Proper correction of these risk factors prevents ATD events, or ATD is too far gone, then ameliorates those events. This data has been presented at the American Heart Association and is available on my website at www.bowlinggreenstudy.org, which free and open to all.
As I pointed out at a health fair, "Why have a heart attack - unless you just want one?"
W.E. Feeman Jr., MD
Bowling Green
 

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