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From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: Mercaptoethanol and glycosylation
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 20:06:01 -0700
Message-ID: <a51oft$f03$>

"Martin Banschbach" <> wrote in message
> My father did smoke and he died of a stroke.  His father died of a
> heart attack
> in his 40's, I don't kow if he smoked.  I know what my risk is
> relative to the general population.  My only help is good genes from
> my mother (long life is part of her genetic heritidge).  Elevated LDL,
> low HDL, high blood pressure, family history, over a pack a day
> smoker, high fat, high salt diet, no exercise, older male.  I figured
> my risk for a cardiovascular incident is at least 6 times the average
> risk for Americans which is already high compared to other nations.

Your blood pressure?  I agree you sound like you'd better change your life.

You might think about going on a baby aspirin a day.  Like, starting

And correct your blood lipids with medication (statin and niacin). See your
doc and pound the table.You can always go off them later if you lose weight
and change your diet totally.

Do you have any idea what your homocysteine levels are?  What do you take in
the way of folate, B12, B6?

> Why do you think I wanted my internist to order a sonogram for my
> carotids?

Unless you have symptoms, you're better off using up your "can I please have
this" capital getting some variety of cardiac stress test.

> Ultrasound is very good for picking up blood flow through both
> carotids and determining if there is any narrowing from plaques.  He
> ordered a stress test instead which is useless in my opinion (I got up
> to the maximum heart rate with no arythmias).  My understanding is
> that you have to have a pretty good restriction in blood flow to
> generate heart anoxia during a stress test.

Stress thallium and stress echo are probably a bit more sensitive. However,
this does suggest you've perhaps got some time left in which to change your
evil ways. There's no evidence that surgery helps anybody who isn't
symptomatic with a carotid lesion. It's probably better not to look for what
you don't want to find. Unless finding it would give you extra incentive to
take some pills and fix your diet and habits, of course.

> I guess I could have a total body CAT scan done like Tim Johnson, M.D.
> on national TV but all that would pick up is calcification in the
> coronary arteries.  I figured that if I could see what kind of buildup
> I'm dealing with, I could then make some kind of decision about what
> needed to be done.

Don't do it unless you pre-commit to having the full angiogram if you see
something. If you're going to ignore calcifications in the face of a
negative stress test (which is reasonable) then what's the point of CT?
(Unless you'd like the low dose radiation for hormetic effects?  I know a
medical physicist who is seriously considering that.) A good fast CT might
find a lung tumor that your chest X-ray can't see yet-- or a worthless
shadow. So again, the problem is what to do with the information...

> Who knows, I may even get to the point of deciding to grow my own
> vegetables again.

That would be good. Meanwhile go halfway and start eating more frozen


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