Heart Attacks & Cholesterol: Dying Under Normal Circumstances

Heart Attacks & Cholesterol: Dying Under Normal Circumstances
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Most people hospitalized with heart attacks have cholesterol levels considered “desirable” under the current recommendations. Having a “normal” cholesterol in a society where it’s normal to die of heart disease is not necessarily a good thing.

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The current official recommendation is to have a total cholesterol under 200. Over 240 is considered high; 200 to 239 borderline high; but under 200 is desirable. So you’d imagine that the average cholesterol of people who have heart attacks is 250, 300; somewhere in the high range—that’s where it’s dangerous, right?

Well, a major study was just published in the American Heart Journal this year. 65,000 people hospitalized with acute coronary syndromes, like myocardial infarctions—heart attacks—across 344 hospitals. Guess what their average cholesterol was on admission? 170.

If you went to a doctor worried about your heart—maybe you have heart disease in your family, or you’re feeling your diet hasn’t been the greatest—and your cholesterol came back at 170, well within the “desirable” range, your doctor would probably pat you on the back, tell you to keep up the good work and send you on your merry way. Based on this new data, the next time you see them may be when you arrive in an ambulance—if you’re lucky enough to make it that far.

Most people admitted to hospitals with heart attacks have “normal” cholesterols. Having a “normal” cholesterol in a society where it’s “normal” to drop dead of heart disease is not necessarily a good thing. “Desirable” cholesterol levels leave a lot to be desired.

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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Image thanks to Alex Proimos / Flickr

The current official recommendation is to have a total cholesterol under 200. Over 240 is considered high; 200 to 239 borderline high; but under 200 is desirable. So you’d imagine that the average cholesterol of people who have heart attacks is 250, 300; somewhere in the high range—that’s where it’s dangerous, right?

Well, a major study was just published in the American Heart Journal this year. 65,000 people hospitalized with acute coronary syndromes, like myocardial infarctions—heart attacks—across 344 hospitals. Guess what their average cholesterol was on admission? 170.

If you went to a doctor worried about your heart—maybe you have heart disease in your family, or you’re feeling your diet hasn’t been the greatest—and your cholesterol came back at 170, well within the “desirable” range, your doctor would probably pat you on the back, tell you to keep up the good work and send you on your merry way. Based on this new data, the next time you see them may be when you arrive in an ambulance—if you’re lucky enough to make it that far.

Most people admitted to hospitals with heart attacks have “normal” cholesterols. Having a “normal” cholesterol in a society where it’s “normal” to drop dead of heart disease is not necessarily a good thing. “Desirable” cholesterol levels leave a lot to be desired.

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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Image thanks to Alex Proimos / Flickr

Nota del Doctor

Be sure to check out all my other videos on heart disease.

And be sure to check out my associated blog posts for more context: Generic Lipitor is not the answer to our heart disease epidemicStool Size and Breast Cancer Risk; and Biblical Daniel Fast Tested.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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