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Prevent a Heart Attack: Do You Know Your Ratio?

Have you had blood work recently, or are getting it done soon?
Many of us have been told that cholesterol is linked to heart disease.  However, the published evidence is quite clear in documenting that the actual total cholesterol level itself is not the most important risk factor of cardiovascular disease.
 
It is the ratio between the level of HDL-"good" cholesterol and total cholesterol that we need to be concerned about.
 
Therefore, in adults, the HDL-"good" cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio should be higher than 0.24 (just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol).
 
Or more precisely, the HDL/total cholesterol ratio:
  • 0.24 or higher is considered ideal
  • under 0.24 - low
  • less than 0.10 - very dangerous.
Generally speaking, the higher the ratio, the better (the lower your risk of a heart attack).
 
However, HDL is closely related to triglycerides
 
It appears common for people with high triglycerides to have low HDL's, and these same people also tend to have high levels of clotting factors in their blood stream, which is unhealthy in protecting against heart disease.
 
Therefore, in adults, the triglyceride/HDL-"good" cholesterol ratio should be below 2  (just divide your triglycerides level by your HDL).
 
Or more precisely, the triglyceride/HDL ratio:
  • 2 or less is considered ideal
  • 4 - high
  • 6 - much too high
And, since HDL (high density lipoprotein) is protective against heart disease, the lower the ratio, the better.
 
In other words, the lower your triglycerides, or the higher your HDL, the smaller this ratio becomes.
 
It is now believed that the triglycerides/HDL ratio is one of the most potent predictors of heart disease. 
 
A Harvard-lead study author reported:
 
"High triglycerides alone increased the risk of heart attack nearly three-fold.
 
And people with the highest ratio of triglycerides to HDL -- the "good" cholesterol -- had 16 times the risk of heart attack as those with the lowest ratio of triglycerides to HDL in the study of 340 heart attack patients and 340 of their healthy, same age counterparts.
 
The ratio of triglycerides to HDL was the strongest predictor of a heart attack, even more accurate than the LDL/HDL ratio (Circulation 1997;96:2520-2525)."
Bottom line:  Be an informed patient.  Don't just look at the total cholesterol - know these numbers and you may save yourself unnecessary headaches!
Compliments from Functional Medicine University

3 Tests Tell You How Long You Will Live

Article by Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., MS

Most people have a desire to live life to the fullest with a combination of quantity and quality.

There are many parameters that may determine how long you live, however,this short article presents the findings of five researchers who identified three simple tests you can do at home to measure your ability to increase years to your life.

The medical paper published in the British Medical Journal in 2014 revealed a 13 year study where they took 1,355 men and 1,411 women in 1999 when they were 53 years old and then checked to see who was alive and well 13 year later in 2012.

The following are the three tests that were evaluated:

Standing on one leg with your eyes closed for 10 seconds or longer, having a strong grip, and being able to stand up and sit back down in a chair many times in a minute.

According to the researchers of this paper, these tests clearly represented tell-tale signs of longevity.

Perform well in all three tests at age 53 or so and you should be healthy and vibrant 13 years later, when you are 66.

Researchers from University College in London estimate that a 53 year old who can complete these tests successfully is up to 5 times more likely to be alive and well at 66 than someone who couldn't complete the tests or who did them poorly.

There were far higher death rates among those who failed to complete the tasks.

Officially the tests are called the Chair Test (standing up and sitting down in a chair 39 times in a minute for a man, and 36 times for a woman), the Balance Test (standing on one leg for 10 seconds or longer with eyes closed), and the Grip Test (ability to apply a pressure of up to 54.5 kg).

Article Courtesy of Functional Medicine University (www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com)


Reference:

Cooper R1, Strand BH, Hardy R, Patel KV, Kuh D.Physical capability in mid-life and survival over 13 years of follow-up: British birth cohort study. BMJ. 2014 Apr 29;348:g2219

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