Very interesting article in the new Trail Runner magazine regarding cholesterol and heart disease. Several medical studies concluded STRESS has a far greater impact on heart health than diet, although smoking and genetics are certainly a major issues. A book published by Ravnovsky, MD, The Cholesterol Myths, details this information. Another interesting link is redflagsweekly.com
Oh, my where to begin. First, I'd be suspect of ANY book that refers to "Cholesterol Myths...", as it is so well documented, and not just by American Heart Assoc. Stress is so very hard to measure, so how can someone suddenly be THE authority? Yes, stress can be DIStress or EUSTRESS (Hans Selye terms) but cholesterol, diet, smoking, obesity, inactivity, etc. are still the MAJOR RF's.
In his latter years, Sheehan himself referred to sat fats as "the enemy". He even modified his own diet because of that. Remember, he died from prostate cancer, but still was acutely aware of the risks for heart disease.
Bob, thanks for the compliments. It certainly does pay to "listen to your body" and NOT just when it's feeling good, does it?
The 39 year old earlier that referred to vague symptoms. Sometimes those are the only ones we have, sometimes they are just fatigue, or heat related, or air pollution with asthma, or other things. But your heart is still your lifeline. If you have major risk factors (weight, family history, diabetes, hypertension, severe stress, high cholesterol, second hand smoke or prior smoking history) why not get checked out. It's reassuring, knowledge is power, ignorance and/or denial is simply dangerous.
To Heart, in theory, yes, you are at higher risk, simply because the data collected has be on the QUANTITY of sat fats/trans fats. As consumption increased, so did CAD. Does it apply to you? Don't know, I would still want to know your lipid panel if I were you, as well as your c-reactive protein. Also know the enzyme level you have that converts fats to LDL (I am having a senior moment on that one, sorry). That enzyme is 4 to 5 times above normal for me, which convinced me to take a statin drug for my safety and to get my LDL under 100, and I eat VERY little sat fat, typically under 15 grams daily. But for me, with my family history, my rising cholesterol levels, and my not wanting to face a surgeon's scapel, is became an easier choice, not easy but not so hard either.
Lipids: Under 100 for LDL, over 40 HDL, under 175 to 180 total Cholesterol, under 150 Triglycerides, under 108 fasting blood sugar, under 120/80 blood pressure.
Last message, be optimistic! 75% of this disease is lifestyle, that means you can control much of it yourself, and you already do some if you stay lean AND fit. Plus, CAD is much more controllable than ever before with what we know about drugs (for cholesterol, BP, clotting, etc.), and with stents, non-invasive testing, calcium scans, etc.
Oh, and take a baby ASA daily if over 40 and you don't have bleeding problems. Did you know that ASA is cancelled out if you take NSAIDS? So use ice and tylenol for pain, if it's minor.
Lastly, if you have any questions, play it safe and see a doctor that wants to work with you on PREVENTATIVE care.
somehow this has morphed into the mike lundgren sez thread.
i appreciate your zeal, but i think you need to moderate your rhetoric a touch.
rather, send your best wishes to the salazar family, and move on.
The odds are that there are risk factors that will become identified by Salazar and his doctor. I hope he shares those with us.
I share my life with people as I discuss CAD, and yet what I do now is different that my smoking and drinking days of over 30 years ago. How do I know what those contributed to my having a liver that now produces more LDL than 30 years ago? WE ALL are human, and all make mistakes, but we can grow and change and improve, and become compassionate, peace-driven people.
And in that I wish Al Salazar and all his family and friends all the best in a full recovery. Blessings!
Fixx ignored his angina dispite a terrible family history of hyperlipidemia and premature death, including his father. Sheehan equally tragically, ignored his syptoms of prostate cancer until Ken Cooper practically forced him into a physical exam. Both men avoided doctors like the plaque. In Sheehan's case the irony is palpable, as he had followed his father's footsteps into medicine, and was the MD guru of the running movement for decades. All passionately chronicled by Andy Sheehan: Chasing the Hawk.
After your doubleshot, you may think this is your greatest health risk:
But in reality it is this:
Why Men Skip Doctor Visits
Many Say They Feel Fine and Only Go to the Doctor When They're Extremely Sick
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Medical News
June 20, 2007 -- Many U.S. men only go to their doctor when they're extremely sick, skipping preventive care, a new survey shows.
Harris Interactive conducted the online survey of more than 1,100 men for the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The men completed the survey between April 30 and May 2. Survey topics included why men go to their doctor -- and why they stay away from the doctor's office.
While most men -- 85% -- said they seek medical treatment when they're sick, almost all -- 92% -- said they waited at least a few days to see if they felt better before seeking care.
Nearly 30% of the men push that strategy to the limits, saying they wait "as long as possible" to see if they get better before seeking medical care or advice.
"One of the biggest obstacles to improving the health of men is men themselves. They don't make their health a priority," states AAFP President Rick Kellerman, MD, in an AAFP news release.
What's the Problem?
In the survey, most men indicated that they have health insurance, have a doctor, and feel comfortable talking to their doctor.
However, more than half of the men -- 58% -- said something keeps them from going to the doctor.
Why the reluctance? The survey included a list of possible reasons; the men could select more than one reason. Here are their responses:
I only go to the doctor if I am extremely sick: 36%
I am healthy, I have no reason to go to a doctor: 23%
I prefer to treat myself naturally: 12%
I don't have time to go to the doctor: 12%
I don't have health insurance: 11%
I don't like doctors: 8%
I am afraid of finding out that something is wrong with me: 7%
I don't know of a good doctor in my area: 4%
Also, 39% of the men said nothing prevented them from going to the doctor.
In the survey, the men also rated their health. Nearly 80% said they felt they were in excellent, very good, or good health.
But feeling fine doesn't always mean you're in tip-top shape.
For instance, someone who dodges doctor visits might not know whether their cholesterol or blood pressure is too high. Those problems don't have obvious symptoms.
"Many men are unaware that simple screening tests and lifestyle changes can dramatically improve their quality of life," Kellerman says.
The survey shows that 28% of the men had been diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension), 13% with arthritis, 10% with diabetes, 8% with cancer, and 8% with heart disease.
The men also noted that, on average, they spend nearly 19 hours per week watching television but less than five hours per week exercising or working out.
Men may be more likely to see their doctor if their wife or partner encourages them to do so, according to the survey.
Most of the men who completed the survey -- 69% -- said they had a spouse or significant other.
Of those men, nearly 80% said their spouse/significant other influences their decision to go to the doctor.
When men do go to the doctor, most say they always or usually follow their doctor's advice, the survey also notes.
Male denial of symptoms of serious illness has probably caused more deaths than Cortes, Columbus, Hitler, Pol Pot, Milosevic, Sadam, and Bush combined.
Lundberg is right
cholesterol is the biggest shit perpetrated on the general public. the sad thing is that people don't think about stuff but just believe what they are given by so-called scientists and medical quacks. maybe one day you will see the truth.
Well, my earlier post was yanked. Too bad.
Years ago, decades, actually, Al Salazar raced and trained with the Greater Boston Track Club. I think I speak for many of us who've known Al since he was at Wayland HS who wish him a quick and healthy recovery.
Al's not the first really good runner to have heart problems. Even the elite have to pay attention to mother nature. Best of luck, Al, and we'll keep on cheering for your runners out of Oregon.
Runbird is right on.
While my field is far removed from cardiology, anecdotal cases abound of healthy, fit men, with normal cholesterol and negative family histories, who suffer MI's (ischemic heart attacks) with no identifiable anatomical substrate, i.e. clogged cornonary arteries, etc, but whom have been under significant stress, +/- caffeine.
Any reader of this thread, down to page 8, is likely well aware of the stress that comes with Alberto's turf, as world class athlete and now as coach of several. Some people, as was Prefontaine, seem to be lightening rods for controversy and the accompanying, yet often undesired, media attention, but yet are able tap into that resevoir of energy in competition, as one can see in "Fire on the Track".
I could've sworn it look like he was having a heart attack when he won Boston in 1982. Why did it take over 25 years to figure it out? Or did his heart attack last for 25 years? That duel in the sun really took it's toll on Al and Dick.
Alberto is (in the words of the great singer Billy Ocean) "Simply awesome". He had a bad heart & bad lungs and he is the best in our sport. Either that or our best really suck...
Here is Al trying to let us all know that he was having a heart attack:
I am not certain how you come to this conclusion, and with what evidence. I have read the evidence and have worked in hospitals for over 20 years now, as an Exercise Physiologist, the last 17 in Cardiac Rehab. The Framingham studies alone for nearly the last century's work has strongly established high cholesterol alone as a Major risk factor for CAD, not to mention the Stanford studies. Of interest, the lead researcher for Stanford is an ultrarunner that needed bypass surgery.
Oh, yes. I definitely agree. You could have a genetic defect and it may not show up for a long time. Even though a person is in excellent shape, it doesn't rule out natural causes. I don't intend to assume that, nor claim to be a doctor.
But I did want to throw out that particular subject for consideration and conversation. I think it would be interesting to pursue in greater detail, what I suggested in my previous posting.
Actually, I was responding to the "barefoot" runner disparaging cholesterol as a risk factor for CAD and not your question about the altitude house. The house would be a very difficult situation to evaluate, no doubt.