The Myths that Surround cholesterol
Many of us who are confident in our cholesterol knowledge, may be in for a surprise.
Knowing their cholesterol numbers-and where they should be-is not really enough to protect our health …sorry to burst that bubble!
To protect your health, we need to first recognize some key myths surrounding cholesterol.
Here are the top five key myths that surround Cholesterol
Myth No. 1:
If my total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol are “normal,” I don’t need to worry about heart disease.
Wrong. Patients who get their total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol results back as “normal” may actually be at risk because standard cholesterol tests fail to measure many cholesterol abnormalities that can lead to heart disease….oops.
In fact statistics show that almost half of all patients who have heart attacks have “normal” cholesterol, as measured by the standard cholesterol test. I hate being so negative!
Myth No. 2:
If I exercise and eat healthy, I don’t need to worry about heart disease.
I am afraid that is just not true. Many people who are at risk or already suffer from heart disease exercise regularly and eat right. That’s because genetics play a significant role in heart disease. Studying twins is the best way to look at the effect of genetics and one study where one was lean and athletic and the other heavier and more sedentary, found that the brothers tended to show the same cholesterol response to high-fat and low-fat diets.Proof of the influence of genetics
Myth No. 3:
Women aren’t as susceptible to heart disease as men.
This myth is one I find surprising as it couldn’t be further from the truth. Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death in women. Nearly twice as many American women die of heart disease and stroke as from all forms of cancer combined, including breast cancer….that is scary. High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and women tend to have higher cholesterol than men starting in their 40s.
Myth No. 4:
The routine cholesterol test gives an accurate measure of my LDL cholesterol.
Sorry to once again rock the boat but it is a known fact about the routine cholesterol test that it estimates LDL cholesterol, rather than directly measures it. This in itself can result in a significant underestimation of a patient’s LDL level-and resulting heart disease risk. We just cannot win can we ?
Myth No. 5:
If my good cholesterol (HDL) is high, I am protected against heart disease.
This may appear true, but there’s a catch: High-density lipoprotein (HDL) consists of subclasses (HDL2 and HDL3). While people with higher HDL2 are more protected against heart disease, those with more HDL3 may actually be at increased risk-even if they have normal total HDL.
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