Friday, April 4, 2008


I fell asleep at 8:30 on Wednesday night. Last night, my wife was out for dinner with a friend, and I was watching the kids for the evening. After dinner, I was reading a book in my bedroom, felt tired, and decided to turn out the lights. I looked at my clock and it was 8:06. I slept until 7:00 this morning. If my body is telling me it needs more sleep, I'm not going to argue right now.

Yesterday, after work, I ran a cruise-control 6+ miler at about 9:30 pace. It was a beautiful day to run outside - 50F and a cloudless sky.

Today, we're getting snow and rain, so I'll run inside for about 45 minutes tonight. Tomorrow, I'm still planning to do 20. Tomorrow will be the first Saturday since before Thanksgiving where I don't have to get up before 6:00 a.m.

In the "Good Calories, Bad Calories" book, I'm in a series of chapters that are talking about measurements of HDL, LDL and triglycerides. One point that the book makes continually is that total cholesterol and LDL numbers simply aren't as predictive of disease or mortality as we are generally led to believe, especially after age 50 (I'm not there yet). In particular, the author emphasizes that triglycerides and HDL are much more important predictors, and he discusses the ratio of triglyceride's to HDL as being an important number. The two numbers tend to have an inverse relationship.

In looking back at my last three lipid panels, the one where I thought my numbers were the best is where the author would contend I did my worst. In 2004, I had an LDL 0f 82, the lowest score I've ever seen there. But, my triglycerides were 254 and my HDL only 58, a ratio of almost 5:1. The author suggests that a ratio of 2:1 or lower is best. A year ago, my LDL was up to 148, but my triglycerides were down to 105 and my HDL was 79, a ratio well below 2:1.

This year, in my physical, my LDL was at 148, but my triglycerides were 133 and my HDL was down to 61.

My doctor seems just fine with the values I have now and I'm close to that 2:1 ratio.

I do take a small dose of a statin daily. One other note that the author has made is that even though LDL levels don't seem to be as predictive of disease and mortality as we are led to believe, there seems to be no doubt that statins save lives. The question then becomes "Why?" If the primary purpose of a statin is to alter something that doesn't seem to matter that much, what else do they do that is important?

The book continues to be very interesting and very challenging at times.

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