What will you be measuring to improve your health next year? 2017 is almost upon us. Peter Drucker (management consultant) passed away in 2005. He was 95 years of age. One of his quotes that I like is that “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” There are many aspects of our lives that we would like to improve (change). It might be overall health, fitness, finances, relationships, education, etc. Let’s stick within the realm of health for this blog.
Why do you want to become healthier? It might be to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, cancer, etc. It might be to improve your physical performance, energy levels or just to look better. What are good predictors of health? I mentioned one yesterday, c-reactive protein (CRP) – measurement of total body inflammation at the cellular level. That is my favorite measurement of health.
I came across another measurement that fascinates me. My wife and I had our annual physicals this past week. Doctors harp on cholesterol, even if it is not over the magic number of 200 mg/ml (because it might go over that value in the future). My personal opinion is that cholesterol is a very poor indicator of cardiac disease. Half the people who die from heart attacks have ideal cholesterol numbers (less than 200 mg/ml).
Our doctor mentioned the ratio of Total Cholesterol to HDL (good cholesterol) during the discussions of our blood tests. We are both well below the ratio number 5:1. That was the only number he mentioned. Anything under a ratio of 3.5:1 is considered ideal. Mine was 2.36 and my wife’s was 3.47. There is also the LDL to HDL ratio to consider. 3.5:1 is considered average risk using this ratio.
I was reading today about cholesterol for a future blog and came across the ratio of triglycerides to HDL cholesterol. It is supposed to be a better measure of cardiac health. TG (triglyceride)/HDL ratio of less than 2.0 is considered ideal. Above 4 is considered too high. I haven’t researched enough about the TG/HDL ratio and cardiac health to have an opinion.
What do you measure? What gives you a good warm feeling that your health is pretty good?