I'm Giles Bowkett. This is where I post random things that are too small for my main blog and too big for Twitter.

Apr 28

I’m in the hospital following another bout of surgery, specifically angioplasty and stent implantation. The good news is I got to compare my risk factors with the risk factors recorded prior to my earlier surgery at this same hospital in February. HDL got worse; everything else got better. Terrific improvements in triglycerides, and LDL and total cholesterol. My blood pressure improved enough that they took me off one of my medications.

Risk Factor Early Feb Late April Difference Target
Total Cholesterol 254 154 -100 under 200
Triglycerides 176 98 -78 under 150
HDL 26 21 -5 over 39
LDL 193 113 -80 under 100
LDL/HDL Ratio 9.8 7.3 -2.5 under 5.0

Except for HDL, my numbers on every one of these are better than the average American’s. One caveat, these targets are conventional targets; for myself I believe I need a much lower set of targets for total and LDL cholesterol. For instance, the standard recommended total cholesterol level is under 200, but the average total cholesterol level in mainland China (which sees virtually no heart disease at all) is 127.

Also these risk factors are not the only predictors of heart disease: the reason for my surgery is that despite these improvements, one of my arterial blockages grew from 20% to 80%. Actually, what probably happened is that this 20% blockage ‘grew’ when a different blockage deteriorated, floated into the bloodstream, and joined to it via fibrinogen. Long story short, eliminating these risk factors prevents future buildup, but the existing buildup is still a problem. So, I’m not out of the woods yet, but these improvements are excellent.