Most cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD) - the category that combines heart disease and stroke - are caused by high LDL cholesterol. When LDL rises above about 90 mg/dl, plaque starts to build up on the vessel walls. If changes to diet and exercise don’t reduce LDL enough, statins, ezetimibe, and PCSK9 inhibitors cause huge … Continue reading Recently Discovered Heart Disease Risk Factor: Lipoprotein(a)
The next decade should bring a revolution in early detection of cancer. Today, only four cancers have screenings recommended for the general population: breast, colon, cervix, and lung cancer in smokers. Those cancers only account for 29% of all cases of cancer and 24% of all cancer deaths. Due to low compliance with recommended screenings … Continue reading The Coming Revolution in Cancer Screening
When am I going to die? The Social Security Administration’s actuarial tables tell me a 32-year-old male has a remaining life expectancy of 46.00 years. To refine that estimate, I can look at papers like this one that compare life expectancy depending on modifiable risk factors. A 50-year-old male who does five healthy things (1. … Continue reading Life Expectancy Calculator by Cause of Death
Powerful new drugs that reduce LDL cholesterol to unprecedented levels with minimal side effects should eliminate heart disease within the next few decades. The primary cause of heart disease is that excessive LDL cholesterol in the blood builds up as plaque inside blood vessels. In my last two posts, I wrote about the first- and … Continue reading Preventing Heart Disease with PCSK9 Inhibitors
LDL cholesterol causes most heart disease and some strokes. The first line treatment for high LDL cholesterol after diet and exercise is statins, which I reviewed in my last post. Statins have a far lower burden of side effects than many believe and any reduction in LDL cholesterol - no matter how low or high … Continue reading Preventing Heart Disease with Ezetimibe
Heart disease, caused by plaque on artery walls, is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Plaque buildup is also a major cause of stroke, which the CDC lists separately from heart disease as the fourth leading cause of death for women and fifth for men. In turn, plaque is caused by … Continue reading Preventing Heart Disease with Statins
A large body of research in psychology finds that giving money to causes we care about makes us happier. Even if that research doesn’t hold up, I’d argue we still have an obligation to spend some portion of our time and money trying to make the world a better place. And I believe we need … Continue reading $100,000 Donation to GiveWell
Rates of colon and rectal cancer (CRC) incidence and death have been decreasing for decades. However, there’s an important exception to this trend. CRC incidence and death has been increasing for people below 50, all the way down to 20 years old. Risk still increases with age, but the difference in risk between 50-year-olds and … Continue reading Millennials Should Get Screened for Colon Cancer
Like me, you might be a little confused about whether fish oil supplements reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Can fish oil really extend our lives, and is it worth the expense? Decades of nutritional studies that survey what people eat and measure their health outcomes have found that eating fatty fish is … Continue reading Will Fish Oil Supplements Extend Your Life?
With atrocious air quality in California right now, I’m doing everything I can to keep my lungs clear of fine particulate matter, aka PM2.5. Chronic exposure to even moderate levels of PM2.5 or acute exposure to high levels significantly increases all-cause mortality. I’ve previously written about how running HEPA filters in your house is a … Continue reading Do you need a HEPA filter in your car?