Demystifying Medicine One Month at a Time

Cholesterol and Virtue

Ever had your cholesterol tested?

Ever read or heard something about cholesterol and heart attacks?

Ever been prescribed (or had a discussion about) a ‘statin‘ drug?

Doctors like to check your cholesterol. It gives us all a feeling of doing something.

Read this essay from @GlassHospital on @NPRHealth  and see what you think. Or, just click on the amazing art from Katherine Streeter:



  1. Carolyn Thomas

    Thanks Dr. S for this thoughtful and thought-provoking essay. If smart doctors like you remain uncertain (about the new guidelines, for example), how can mere patients sort all of it out?

    Those new guidelines – after decades of training patients that we need to pay attention to lipid numbers – now seem to advise: ‘Forget about treating to numbers!’ But the controversial risk calculator accompanying the guidelines seems even more confusing, ensuring that having a measurable pulse will likely qualify you for starting statin therapy.

    There ARE other cardiovascular disease risk calculators that likely do a better job, such as this one from James McCormack at Vancouver’s University of British Columbia: or this statin/aspirin decision aid from Mayo Clinic:

    What’s your opinion on these alternatives?

  2. Mike

    I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol I was put on six different medicines and found a pamphlet over there on am@zon How I beat High Blood Pressure without Prescription Meds It was written by C D James. The tips in that book got my blood pressure down to 129/79 and my cholesterol way down. I’m not on any meds now. So get your BP and Cholesterol checked and get that book. It helped me

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