This year, I missed out on the onsite screenings. But I got a voucher for a free screening at Walgreens (a pharmacy chain). So I did that today. Unlike the prior screenings, these tests were done via finger-pricks rather than blood draws, and the results were available right away, rather than a few weeks later.
During the years 2005 thru 2012, my numbers were in the following ranges (mg/dL):
Total Cholesterol: 121 - 133
Triglycerides: 29 - 64
HDL Cholesterol: 47 - 59
LDL: 62 - 72
VLDL: 6 - 13
The HDL + LDL + VLDL numbers equal the Total Cholesterol numbers.
I was first screened in 2002, and I skipped the next 2 years. For whatever reason, my LDL was a bit higher in 2002:
Total Cholesterol: 151
Today's results showed an even higher LDL value, 96. That caught my attention, as it is near the high range of optimal (<100). Then I noticed that today's results don't include VLDL, so today's LDL number must include the VLDL. Then I noticed that today's numbers don't even add up... The sheet says:
Total Cholesterol: 121
Hmmm.. 121 - 52 = 69. The nurse must have transposed 69 to 96 when she wrote the LDL number down. In fact, I remember looking at the machine that had analyzed my finger-prick blood sample, and seeing it display "N/A" under LDL. The nurse must have been doing arithmetic in her head.
Anyway, so this year's real LDL number is likely 69, and it likely includes the VLDL, so rather than it being much worse than the other years, it is slightly better.
Then again, this page says:
There may be several reasons for an LDL cholesterol result of N/A. The LDL cholesterol is calculated as follows: LDL=(TC-HDL-TRG/5). If the triglyceride result is >400 mg/dL (>4.51 mmol/L), the calculated LDL cholesterol will not be accurate and the LDL result will be reported as N/A. If the TC, HDL or TRG results are outside the measuring range of the instrument, the LDL will also not be calculated and will be reported as N/A.
So maybe today's LDL number isn't reliable at all.
Hmmm... for all the prior years, VLDL = Triglycerides/5.
So it appears that the VLDL and LDL numbers are always calculated, rather than measured. Only the Total Cholesterol, HDL, and Triglyceride levels are actually measured.
Today's test didn't measure my iron level. In the previous years, it ranged from 89 to 138, all within normal limits.
My blood pressure tends to be on the low side. Today it was 90/65. The highest one from prior years was 107/73.
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