Well-informed patients, confident in their knowledge about cholesterol and where their numbers should be, are probably not aware of the myths surrounding this ever-growing problem.
According to the medical experts, these are the top 5 myths to dispel:
1. If your “total” cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad type) are “normal,” you 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.
In fact, almost half of all patients who have heart attacks have “normal” cholesterol, as measured by the standard test.
- Many people who are at risk or have already been diagnosed with heart disease. exercise and eat right.
That’s because genetics play a significant role in heart disease.
In fact, a recent study of male twins, one 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.
3. Women aren’t as susceptible to heart disease as men. Nothing could be further from the truth.
- In fact, nearly twice as many American women die of heart disease and stroke, as from all forms of cancer combined, including breast cancer.
- Women tend to have higher cholesterol than men, starting in their 40’s. It is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
4. The routine cholesterol test gives an accurate measure of my LDL cholesterol. Sorry, wrong again. And here’s why knowing your cholesterol numbers is not enough.
- A little-known fact about the “routine cholesterol test” is that it estimates LDL cholesterol, and does not directly measure it.
This process can result in a significant underestimation of a patient’s LDL level – and resulting heart disease risk.
5. If my good cholesterol (HDL) is high, I am protected against heart disease. Well, there’s a catch…
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol 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.”
Here are more reasons why knowing your cholesterol numbers is not enough.
- There are new, expanded cholesterol tests that debunk these myths by identifying up to 90% of people at risk for cardiovascular diseases.
That’s almost twice the rate of routine cholesterol tests.
Triglycerides are the main components (ingredients) of natural fats and oils. High concentrations in the blood indicate an elevated risk of stroke.
- It also breaks down cholesterol further-providing information that can help your doctor better assess your true risk of heart disease.
The simple blood test is available nationwide through national and regional diagnostic laboratories and is reimbursed by most insurance companies, including Medicare.
The next time you visit your doctor’s office, please discuss the type of cholesterol test he/she will order for you and insist on the most comprehensive test. But, before you do, read up on the top 7 things you want to know about your cholesterol right here.
Let him/her know that you understand why knowing your cholesterol numbers is not enough to make you feel protected against the proven damage of heart disease and strokes.
You are your best advocate for your health.