The Iceman Cometh...
Hondas and Toyotas vs. Fords and Chevys

Department of "Huh"?

Shannon Brownlee writes:

Let's Stop Running Scared: I have no plans to monitor my cholesterol, undoubtedly to my doctor's consternation. Why bother? I'm already watching my weight, exercising regularly and eating a healthful diet, and I don't want to take medications that offer little if any protection against heart attacks for people whose only risk factor is elevated cholesterol...

Ummm.... As I understand it, if a woman in her 50s has cholesterol of 250-40 as opposed to 150-60 (total-HDL) and no other risk factors, her ten-year risk of heart attack is higher by one percentage point.

Avoiding a heart attack seems to me to be worth at least $100K. Reducing the chance of a heart attack by one percentage point seems to me to be worth $1K over ten years--or worth spending $100 a year.

Thus it seems to me that including a cholesterol test in your every-two-years blood screening and adding a pill to your morning vitamins if the cholesterol numbers are going south in a serious way--even with no other cardiac risk factors--is a good idea.

What am I missing?