60 is the new ___?

I had another patient tonight that solidly earned my respect for his fitness accomplishments [note: doesn’t happen often enough].

67-year-old guy in for his physical. I was reviewing his labs from a week ago that were done in anticipation of this visit, including his cholesterol.

LDL 99, HDL 89.

Chew on that a second. His HDL is almost as high as his LDL. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this thought before, but I consider that the ultimate goal with the lipid panel.  I have never seen an HDL as high as an LDL. Unfortunately, I’m doomed by my family history of abnormal lipids, but I’m still shooting for it.

His secret: he runs 8-10 miles daily on his home treadmill. On top of that, he does weight lifting and just started once weekly boxing. In fact, without any prompting from me, he started explaining how he thinks people waste too much time on doing strictly cardio, as he has noticed significant improvement in his health and physique when incorporating weights.

He was incredibly full of energy – I wish I could have taken a picture to capture it, because it was truly a satisfying glimpse at what a lifetime of fitness can do for you. Nothing is slowing him down, not that 67 is all that old, but I’ve seen 20-30-year-olds in much worse shape than him.  With lipid numbers like that, he will likely never develop heart disease.

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2 Responses to “60 is the new ___?”

  1. […] So what?  This panel achieves one of my fantasy goals for cholesterol numbers – an HDL greater than the LDL [without cholesterol medication].  There was one other patient who came close. […]

  2. Amy Richardson Says:

    My cholesterol labs just came in and they concerned me at first (total 222, HDL 117, LDL 82, non-HDL 105, Beta VLDL 23, Triglycerides 115) so I googled HDL 117 and found this article. I’m feeling a little more reassured that having an HDL of 117 is a good thing??? I will follow-up with my MD as well. Thansk!

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