Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cholesterol Level: Genes? Lifestyle? Alcohol?

I got my blood test back from my annual physical, and chances are that they are better than the vast majority of people reading this blog today (all comparison levels from the American Heart Association):

Cholesterol: 130 (less than 200 is "desirable")

HDL ("Good Cholesterol"): 58.3 (Above 50 is good)

LDL ("Bad Cholesterol"): 60 (Less than 100 "optimal")

Triglycerides: 57 (Less than 150 "normal", so I am probably abnormally low here)

A large part of this is probably due to my exercise and diet. But a big chunk of it is genes. My dad ate a steak every day of his life until he was 50 and as he closes in on 70 has a natural cholesterol level (no medications) that is exactly the same as mine.

I also partake in a wee dram on a regular basis, and regular, moderate alcohol intake is supposed to act like Drano to clear out the arteries as well as increase your good cholesterol.

It's probably a combination of nature/nurture, but whatever the case, statistically, my risk of heart disease and heart attack are about as low as they can get.