The average “bad” cholesterol (LDL) level in people having heart attacks is in the “near-optimal” range, suggesting that the current guidelines are too lax.
Image thanks to wayne marshall.
The level of LDL cholesterol our blood—our “bad” cholesterol—may be the single most important indicator of heart disease risk, and is the primary target of both drug and diet therapy. Your doctor will likely tell you that anything over 130 is high; anything under 130 is optimal or near optimal. But that’s what most people hospitalized for heart attack had circulating in their blood stream. \
Notes one of the investigators on this study, “Almost 75 percent of heart attack patients fell within recommended targets for LDL cholesterol, demonstrating that the current guidelines may not be low enough to cut heart attack risk. Close to half had “optimal” levels, though I’m not sure our grieving spouses and orphaned children will take much comfort in that fact.
The leading agribusiness publication had a very different take on this study: “For years, we’ve been brainwashed to think that red meat and its associated fat content are killing us. Researchers, however, have found that the vast majority of patients — 75%, in fact — hospitalized for a heart attack did not have cholesterol levels that would signal a high risk for a cardiovascular event.”
He’s saying see, cut out meat, and bring your cholesterol into the quote unquote optimal range and still die of a heart attack. So, he concludes, “fire up the grill, and eat up. The next time someone tells you that you just served a heart attack on a plate, you’ll be able to give them
a science-based reason why they’re dead wrong,” when in fact you’ll more likely just end up dead.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check out all the videos on heart disease and industry influence.
And check out my associated blog posts for more context: Generic Lipitor is not the answer to our heart disease epidemic and Stool Size and Breast Cancer Risk.