I have normal
high CRP. Should
I take a statin?
That depends on your precise CRP score.
Studies show that only 50 percent of
heart-attack victims have high levels of LDL
(“bad” cholesterol). Those in the other 50
percent often have high levels of C-reactive
protein (CRP), which acts as a marker for
inflammation. In short, the two tests identify
two different high-risk groups, so using
both together is better than relying on either
one alone. If your LDL score is normal and
your CRP score is below 2 mg/L, you can
pursue nonmedicated treatment, including
eating more lean meats, consuming less
partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,
keeping your daily sodium intake below
2,300 milligrams, and exercising vigorously
for 30 minutes a day, five times a week.
If your CRP score is above 2 mg/L, talk
to your doctor about taking rosuvastatin,
which reduced cardiac events by almost
50 percent in men with normal LDL levels
and high CRP scores in a 2008 study in The
New England Journal of Medicine. The CRP
test isn’t perfect, however (a recent surgery,
cold, or other upper-respiratory infection
will throw it off), so keep that in mind as
you and your doctor interpret your scores.
GREGG FONAROW, M.D.
Dr. Fonarow is a professor of medicine and
codirector of the University of California at Los
Angeles Preventative Cardiology Program.
THE BEST WAY TO
CUT $10,000 FROM YOUR
The average household
spends $50,000 a year on
everything from clothes to
utility bills, according to the
government’s most recent
Survey, so if you want to
slash $10,000 off your
annual expenses, you’ll
have to cut your spending
by 20 percent.
Use cash. Not only will you pay
more attention to your spending,
but you’ll also soften the blow from
outrageous credit-card rates. If
you normally charge $10,000 a
year at 14. 9 percent interest, for
example, paying with cash and
checks will save you $1,500.
Cook at home. Cutting your
restaurant and takeout expenses
from $420 to $210 a month will
save $2,520 a year. Eliminate your
daily $4 latte and $1 water to save
an extra $4,345.
Plug holes in your house. Sealing
gaps and cracks that allow air
to escape will help reduce your
monthly heating and cooling costs
by up to 30 percent, according to
the Department of Energy. Installing surge protectors that cut off all
electricity to appliances that aren’t
in use will save an additional 5 percent. Total annual savings: $1,333.
Ditch your landline. Dial-up
modems are a thing of the past,
and you likely use your cell phone
for most calls any way. Canceling
your landline can save $500.
Carpool. If you commute more
than 15 miles a day and spend, say,
BRE W YOUR OWN
Save a latte.
$10 on parking, forming a three-way carpool can save up to $2,000
a year. Go to
vanpool.com to get started.
Spend less. A group of San
Francisco professionals known
as “the compact” made headlines
a few years ago by vowing not
to buy anything new for a year.
Even partially following their
lead—say, by cutting clothing
and entertainment expenses in
half—can save up to $2,400 a year.
STEWART WELCH III
Welch is the founder of The Welch
Group, a wealth-management firm
in Birmingham, Alabama.
My friend is cheat-
ing on his wife and
wants me to cover
for him. Should I?
Not unless a national security issue is at
stake, and perhaps not even then. Research
shows that 28 percent of men cheat at
some point in their lives and such infidelity
plays a role in up to 65 percent of divorces.
Helping him walk down that path will not
only compromise your morals, but also
aid and abet his inevitable downfall. The
best thing you can do is simply explain that
you can’t help him lie to his wife, but you
can offer him an ear if he’d ever like to talk
about why he’s straying. He might be upset,
but eventually he’ll see that you’re looking
out for his best interests, and if his fantasy
crumbles, he’ll need you more than ever.
The usual excuses for infidelity include
sexual boredom, the urge to rebel against
THE BEST ADVISORS most pressing concerns? Write
Want the best advice for your
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John Foreyt, PhD Martin J. Haideh Hirmand, MD
Foreyt is a professor Abrahamson, MD Dr. Hirmand is an
in the departments of Dr. Abrahamson is an assistant attending
medicine, psychiatry, associate professor of plastic surgeon at
and behavioral medicine at Harvard New York–Presbyterian
sciences at Baylor Medical School and Hospital/ The Weill
College of Medicine, the medical director Cornell Medical
in Houston. of the Joslin Diabetes Center.
HAIR LOSS PERSONAL
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Bernstein, MD John Allan Gary Schatsky
Dr. Bernstein is a Allan is the founder of Schatsky is a
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the College of Chicago that bear his and the founder of
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Q: Which color bell pepper
is best and why?
Choose red bell peppers for their high levels of antioxidant vitamins
A and C, which help protect cells from free radicals. One cup of
chopped red peppers contains three times the minimum amount
of vitamin C and nearly 100 percent of the vitamin A recommended
for a typical 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. Green and yellow peppers fall
short in vitamin A. Raising blood plasma levels of vitamin C can lead
to a lower risk of developing diabetes, according to a recent study in
the Archives of Internal Medicine. All peppers, however, are naturally
fat free and low calorie, and they contain three grams of fiber per
chopped cup, making them excellent snacks or mealtime fillers.
James O. Hill, PhD
Hill is the director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the
University of Colorado and cofounder of America on the
Move, a national weight-gain-prevention initiative.