Our Cholesterol Problem

Most American adults are aware of their cholesterol score. After every checkup, you walk away with three numbers: good, bad, and total. If you score is deemed normal, you most likely leave the doctor’s office with some peace of mind about your cardiovascular health.

cholesterol-levels-chartBut too few Americans are aware of the severe limitations of this basic cholesterol score. A recent article published by CNN.com expounded upon the problems with basic cholesterol.

Our nation’s reliance on the cholesterol score as a measure of heart health has grown dangerous. As stated repeatedly in the CNN article, your cholesterol score in isolation is nearly worthless. In fact, the cholesterol of those who have heart attacks is nearly identical to the cholesterol of those who don’t.

This is because cholesterol is not the cause of heart attack. Plaque is. And plaque development is extraordinarily different in every individual.

The Boone Heart Institute Medical Team has moved well beyond the cholesterol score, using imaging techniques alongside advanced blood testing to determine the patient’s plaque status and genetic vulnerability to heart disease.

Heart-RibbonIt is tremendously encouraging to see mainstream news sources like CNN—and important voices in the health care media like Dr. Agatston and Dr. Gupta—relaying the importance of looking beyond basic cholesterol to the root of heart disease.

Medicine is all about progress. As science and technology advance, new methods replace the old. The most important change agent in this process is you: the patient. Don’t be satisfied with a simple cholesterol score. Make sure your doctor is giving you the complete picture.