IMPORTANT UPDATE: The total budget has been increased at the one year anniversary to $3,000 at $1,000 per study!
Today is the six monthaversary of my #LCCholesterolChallenge. Half a year ago I posted the following graphic:
Hello! If you follow me, you know I keep pinging pro-LDL lowering experts on this key question, but still haven't gotten anything yet. So I'm making it a fun graphic for us all to use and hopefully get some great responses soon! (What would it mean if we didn't?) pic.twitter.com/hOCtUApyxH— Dave Feldman (@DaveKeto) February 13, 2018
And to date, no one has provided a non-drug, non-gene study showing people with high HDL + low triglycerides + high LDL exhibiting high rates of cardiovascular disease.
So today I’m going to step it up… big time!
I wanted to hold a contest for people to meet this challenge and set specific targets. After chatting with friend of mine who is a lawyer, he pointed out that there’s a lot of legalese once you hold a “contest” (or even use the word) that can get a be very complex to comply with. So he suggests I announce this as a “fun challenge” that “may” motivate me to reward participants.
So let me state it like this: I’m very, very interested in studies that meet the criteria I outline below. I have a budget of
$1,000 $3,000 that I’ll be drawing on to give (via PayPal) as I see fit for people who submit links to such studies in the comments section of this blog post. Obviously, first-to-post on each specific study matters a lot to me. I’m thinking around $300 $1,000 for a study that hits that criteria sounds pretty exciting, but I’m not officially saying one way or the other.
You know what also sounds neat? Studies that show the opposite (like the ones mentioned below). So if people find studies that meet the below criteria with the exception of having LOW CVD or CHD, I’m thinking of possibly something around $100 would be exciting.
Once I’m out of that budget, I probably won’t be giving away any more.
But for legal purposes, everything I say above is all arbitrarily decided and in no way constitutes an explicit promise or commitment. Okay, lawyers?
The Criteria I’m Looking For
To set up specific targets, I’m going to use one of the studies that showcases the opposite result (high LDL, yet with low heart disease) — the Framingham Offspring study.
And as per the challenge, I want to get a sample of people who aren’t selected in or out for genetics or drugs that impact their lipid system.
So here’s the criteria, pure and simple — all of which must be met for a given group in the submitted study:
- HDL Cholesterol of 50 mg/dL or above (≥ 1.29 mmol/L)
- Triglycerides of 100 mg/dL or below (≤ 1.13 mmol/L)
- LDL Cholesterol of 130 mg/dL or above (≥ 3.36 mmol/L)
- Either high Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) or high Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) (see the section below)
- By “normal” and “non-treated“, I mean:
- And here’s some fine print that should be obvious, but just in case…
- The study needs to be published in a reputable journal
- It has to be dated before this article was posted, of course
- The study needs to have at least 400 participants that are stratified by this criteria. (The two studies above have over 500)
- I’d prefer no unusual “modeling” or “adjustments” to alter the data too far from it’s original set. This one goes by the honor system — if you have such a study and it is clearly warranted, I can give it a pass.
What is Considered High Rates of CVD or CHD?
The most recent statistics I was able to find on Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) comes from National Center for Health Statistics and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Their data is reflected in this article from Harvard Health Publishing, Heart Disease: A Guide to Preventing and Treating Coronary Artery Disease.
For Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), we can go with the most recent data I was able to find from the American Heart Association.
In other words, I’m very interested in studies that meet the criteria from the above section and exceed the rates of either CVD or CHD of this section.
Thus, we’re not even talking “high” rates of these diseases — just “above average”.
Clearly I’m extremely interested in gathering more evidence — for or against — this challenge.
I could write about 10 pages of thoughts on why I consider it beyond astonishing that this “triad” hasn’t gotten more focus, but I’ll save that for another post.