Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Obama's cholesterol

A big deal is being made of President Obama's cholesterol:

Though doctors deemed him "fit for duty" during a physical Sunday, Obama's cholesterol was up to a borderline-high 209 from a more desirable 173 during a physical in 2007.

from the LA Times:

At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, the lanky Obama was ruled fit by his doctors. But the blood tests showed that Obama’s LDL cholesterol count has jumped from 96 a couple of summers ago to 138 -- borderline high. Obama was advised to adjust his diet to bring the number below 130.

from the Guardian:

The cholesterol is slightly more complicated as the Americans have not yet changed to SI units. Obama's total cholesterol is 209 mg/dl. To convert to our more familiar SI units you have to divide by 38.67 giving him a total of 5.4 mmol/litre. The upper limit of normal is currently 5.2 mmol/litre. Cholesterol has two sub-groups, low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and high-density lipoproteins (HDLs). It is the LDLs that clog up the arteries, and it is Obama's LDLs that are slightly raised. This is not a major problem. In the UK, most family doctors would tell a patient like this to stop worrying about cholesterol and instead concentrate on the greatest threat to his health, which is – or maybe was – smoking.

from AP:

Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 179.9 pounds, including shoes and workout attire.
Blood pressure: resting, seated 105/62 (previously 90/60). Below 120/80 is considered healthy.
Heart Rate: resting and seated, 56 beats per minute. A rate of 60-80 bpm is normal, but heart rates are generally lower in physically fit people.
Body Mass Index: 23.7. Under 25 is considered healthy.
Cholesterol: High-density lipoprotein 62 (previously 68); low-density lipoprotein 138 (previously 96); total cholesterol 209 (previously 173). HDL of 60 and above is considered protective against heart disease. Under 100 LDL is considered optimal. Total cholesterol under 200 is considered desirable.

The Boston Herald noted:

Most telling, Dr. Cannon said, is that Obama’s bad cholesterol has jumped to 138 from 96 since the summer of 2008, despite a healthy diet and “very active exercise.”

“This disconnect, sometimes, between diet and cholesterol, is a useful lesson to everybody that your cholesterol is independent of what you eat and may need medicine to help control it,” Dr. Cannon said.


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