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KarlR, October 24,  2020  12:23am EST

A "good news / bad news" checkup

Yesterday I had a checkup where the main focus was my first post-HA bloodwork.  My cardiologist wanted to see how well the meds were working.  In addition, he wanted to drill down a little more into the specifics behind my CAD (in ways that my regular bloodwork with my primary care physician never had).

The good news:

My LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol have dropped considerably and are now noticeably lower than they need to be.  My triglycerides went from good to phenomenal.  Blood sugars remain good.  No signs of diabetes.

The really, really, really bad news:

My lipoprotien-A (Lp(a)) levels are very high.  It's genetic; lifestyle has no impact on it.  It causes inflammation, builds plaque, and creates clots.  It's probably the number one reason I had a heart attack at 50.  (At least now I know why.)  It also explains why there's no diabetes in my family.  There's an inverse correlation.  People with high Lp(a) are far less likely to have diabetes.

I spent much of today researching Lp(a).  It appears that there's a phase 3 trial for a treatment in progress.  I'm going to see if I can get involved in it.  If I get the placebo, then I'm no worse off than I am right now.  If I get the treatment, then I may improve my odds of a healthy life.

Other bad news:

Another genetic trait, ApoA-1, is too low.  As best I understand it in layman's terms, ApoA-1 enables HDL to get rid of LDL.  My HDL levels also remain stubbornly borderline.  Despite doing everything I'm supposed to (taking statins, eating salmon and/or cod twice per week, taking omega-3 supplements, using lots of ****** olive oil, exercising 6+ hours per week, etc.), I'm not getting to where I need to be on either of those.

Just absolutely confusing news:

When it comes to fatty acid percentages, 0.54% of my fatty acids are trans fats (a borderline amount).  But the part seems crazy to me ... I don't think I've consumed ANY trans fats since my heart attack.  (I've been reading every food label that's come into the house.)  There are tiny amounts of naturally-occurring trans fats in things like dairy (I have some skim milk when I fix myself a latte), but I can't see how that's possibly getting me to a "borderline" level.

2 Replies
  • Djwel
    Djwel, October 24,  2020  10:44am EST


    Just saw this post; our visits this week certainly seem to be about the same news, I see now what you mean by knowing the exact specifics of the bloodwork.  Now I know what to ask on my visit concerning my upcoming blood work.  My docs are vague, to say the least.  

    Thanks for sharing, I wish you well & hope you get some better news very soon.


  • vancet
    vancet, October 24,  2020  7:02pm EST

    Well at least you have some good data, KarlR.  Congrats on getting some decent numbers and at least you have an inkling on perhaps why you did get an HA.

    I got nothing so far and nobody's interested in finding out why/how other than me.  I think they lost interest after my bloodwork all came back super positive, even the genetic markers were normal. 

    Anyhow I read about LpA early on and how it could be a genetic predictor so I signed up for Google's Project Verily.   Was really hoping my LpA would be high enough to get me into the program but alas, I wasn't even close to significant.  I got dropped from their mailing list so I'm not sure where their research is at now but you may want to sign up and contribute to their data set.  

    At least in Canada, there is a minimum amount of transfat before they are able to hide it in their nutritional label so just because it looks 0, doesn't mean it is.  But look on the bright side. it looks like you're doing very well, even your HDL is borderline which is not in the alarming level.  

    Glad to hear you are doing everything you're supposed to. At the end of the day, you can only control what you can and the rest is up to genetics.  

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