Tuesday, November 23, 2010

JUPITER to Earth: It's the Calcium Score Stupid!

Well, well, well!  A funny thing happened on the way to the "statin forum."  Astra-Zeneca, in a bald-faced attempt to broaden the narket for its statin product Crestor, ended up proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that heart scans and calcium scoring is the most powerful predictor of heart attacks in asymptomatic people.

A post hoc analysis of the MESA study population using JUPITER criteria revealed at 25-fold increase in risk for persons having a positive calcium score.  These two studies were fairly large so it was adequately powered to deliver results with a high degree of confidence.

For years docs like Bill Davis and Bill Blanchet have been screaming this from the hilltops and it something every Track Your Plaque practitioner knows.  If you have a positive calcium score you have coronary artery disease and your risk of a heart attack skyrockets.  Fortunately, it also gives you often decades of warning so you can actually DO something about it.  Coupled with technologies like advanced lipoprotein you can find the root causes and correct them.

So, "thank you" Atra-Zeneca.  I know you did it for the money - but what the heck - you might end up having helped save some lives in spite of it!

Now darn it, go out talk to your doc about getting that heart scan if you have any doubts about having the seeds of heart disease in your arteries.

Looking out for your health,


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Diabetes? You Gotta Exercise! It Works - Big Time!!!

Ever since I was diagnosed as prediabetic I have been looking for ways to stave off the inexorable march to full-blown diabetes and its many heart related complications.  As I wrote earlier, the words of one of many endocrinologists I went to keeps wringing in my ears.  "You gotta exercise.  I has been shown to work better than any else."

Well, as a numbers geek I have been tracking things in different situations.  Like many prediabetics my fasting blood sugar is pretty stable - about 83mg/dL in my case.  My problem is after eating - postprandial blood sugar.

To do yet another test I went out last Sunday and ate a large meal on an empty stomach.  This included some nasty stuff like an abundance of french fried eggplant, a rack of ribs (which I'm had plenty of sugar in the sauce), three massive french fried shrimp (oh but were they good) with tartar sauce, a few veggies, and a small side salad (with a dressing which also likely had HFCS).  Like I said, not a praticularly healthy meal but, then again, my intention was to cheat and see what the consequences were.

One and one-half hours after the meal my blood sugar was a still a nasty 135mg/dL so I fired up the old recumbent stationary bike and did my typical ride - about 44 minutes, 600 calories, and 7 miles (yeah, I know the calorie counter is reading high but it is just a reference number to help me track and compare rides).

So, 45 minutes later I take another reading - BADDA-BING! 77mg/dL, I dropped 58 points in 45 minutes.  WOW!  Like the doc says, "You gotta exercise!"  Take it from me, it seems like magic and it works.  I guess all those old-timers who take their evening "cosntitutional walk" after dinner knew what they were doing.

The bottomline here simple - after you eat - move.  Walk stairs, walk around he block, heck do jumping jacks.  It all adds up.  You don't have to drop your blood sugar a whopping 58 points to have a dramatic effect.  Every point you shave makes you a little healthier!

Looking out for your health,


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