Greg_Colbourn's Shortform

post by Greg_Colbourn · 2021-11-18T09:21:38.864Z · EA · GW · 4 comments


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comment by Greg_Colbourn · 2021-11-18T09:21:39.041Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

[Half-baked global health idea based on a conversation with my doctor: earlier cholesterol checks and prescription of statins]

I've recently found out that I've got high (bad) cholesterol, and have been prescribed statins. What surprised me was that my doctor said that they normally wait until the patient has a 10% chance of heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years before they do anything(!) This seems crazy in light of the amount of resources put into preventing things with a similar (or lower) risk profiles, such as Covid, or road traffic accidents. Would reducing that to, say 5%* across the board (i.e. worldwide), be a low hanging fruit? Say by adjusting things set at a high level. Or have I just got this totally wrong? (I've done ~zero research, apart from searching for "statins", from which I didn't find anything relevant).

*my risk is currently at 5%, and I was pro-active about getting my blood tested.

Replies from: HaukeHillebrandt, joshjacobson
comment by HaukeHillebrandt · 2021-11-18T10:09:57.842Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Romeo Stevens writes about cholesterol here. [LW · GW]

Companies like offer cheap at home lipid tests.

Here are a few recent papers on new drugs: 

Cardiovascular disease is on the rise in emerging economies, so maybe it'd be competitive in the future. 

Saturated fat seems to be a main culprit:

Public health interventions might be a fat tax:

Or donating to the Good Food institute on human health grounds.

Replies from: HaukeHillebrandt
comment by HaukeHillebrandt · 2021-11-18T10:19:52.442Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Surprisingly, globally, high cholesterol might kill 4m per year  - 50% in emerging economies. I think OPP is looking into air pollution which kills 7m per year, so maybe this is indeed something to lookin into.

comment by Josh Jacobson (joshjacobson) · 2022-01-14T19:41:08.442Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for sharing. I'm adding this to my potential research agenda, kept here: and