Tuesday, 3 July 2012


Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.

Many studies done in the last 20 years show that cholesterol lowering drugs called statins save people's lives. Some have brought into question whether the drugs are as effective for women as they are for men. This new study sought to address that question.

Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.

The authors pooled data from 11 published studies. This is called a meta-analysis. The analysis looked at whether statins have an equal effect on women and men. Everyone in the study had a previous event such as a heart attack or stroke, or was high-risk for other reasons.

No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.

The authors concluded that statins lower cholesterol equally in men and women. Their analysis also found that statins worked equally well in men and women to prevent repeat heart attacks. They concluded that statins reduced strokes and early death for men, but not for women.

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.

A commentary on the article disagrees with this important finding. It argues that statins work equally well for men and for women. The commentary writers question whether the research analysis included enough studies to reach its conclusions.

There several things quite interesting in the results of this study. First, the pooled studies included relatively few women compared with men. Often, women were about 20% of the study groups. The women also were more likely to have high blood pressure than men with the same medical issues. They were less likely to be taking an aspirin. Finally, women in the study were older. Some articles suggested that certain statins might prevent stroke and heart disease better than others in women.

In conclusion, the article is clear in saying that these drugs can help to prevent repeat heart attack in women who have had previous heart troubles. It is less able to tell us whether or not statins prevent stroke and other causes of death.

There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.

If you are a woman who has had a heart attack or you care about a woman with heart disease, prevention of new events is really important. Women who have had heart attacks can do many things to ensure their ongoing good health.

Among them:

Quit smoking.

Exercise and lose weight.

Aim to keep your total cholesterol lower than 200 and your LDL ("bad cholesterol") less than 100. In many cases, it should be far less than 100. Most people require drugs, usually statins, to achieve this.

If you are not taking an aspirin, talk to your doctor about whether you should be.

If you've had a stent put into an artery near the heart, ask your doctor about drugs to help prevent blood clots.

If you have diabetes, aim to keep your blood sugar as normal as possible. Your goal for hemoglobin A1C should be less than 7%.

Depending on your personal history, you might benefit from several other types of medicine. These could include beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors.

If you haven't had a heart attack, lifestyle changes can help prevent heart disease. For some women, medicine might also help. Talk to your doctor about lowering your cholesterol, for example. Learn more about prevention for women at any age from the American Heart Association.

The best way to sell yourself to others is first to sell the others to yourself. Check yourself against this list of obstacles to a pleasing personality: interrupting others; sarcasm; vanity; being a poor listener; insincere flattery; finding fault; challenging others without good cause; giving unsolicited advice; complaining; attitude of superiority; envy of others' success; poor posture and dress; finally poor health activities.