ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 58-year-old man with no history or symptoms of heart disease came to my office at the New Mexico Heart Institute for cardiac evaluation after one of his friends died suddenly.
The patient – we’ll call him MB – did absolutely no exercise, was overweight by 30 pounds, with a BMI of 32.7 (obese is greater than 30). (To calculate your BMI, go to nhlbisupport.com/bmi/.) His blood pressure, he said, “was a little high,” but he said he felt fine. On examination, it was elevated at 145/80. He drank a glass of wine a day, proudly explaining, “red for my heart.”
Even though he told me his cholesterol was normal, it was not, with total cholesterol of 210 mg/dl, LDL 130 mg/dl, HDL 38 mg/dl and triglycerides 170 mg/dl. His LDL should be less than 100, HDL 40 or higher and triglycerides less than 150. A high-sensitivity CRP, a measure of inflammation, was 3.0 (high). His EKG was normal.