Category Archives: Heart Disease

Alcoholism: A Family Scourge

I miss my father. He should be around to be granddad to my wonderful boys, helping me raise them to be good men. But he’s not around, dying far too early, from alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver. Only in his mid-60’s, he was a wonderfully warm-hearted man with a deep belly laugh, very much the average-guy Martin Crane to my Frasier Crane-like stuffiness.… Read the rest

Diabetes: Healthy Lifestyle Choices Are Key

I’ve been a family doctor for fifteen years, and one of the more dramatic changes I’ve noticed is a big spike in the incidence of prediabetes and diabetes, in all age groups. I had worked in China for ten years until last summer, and all us family doctors at my Beijing clinic weren’t surprised at all with the 2013 paper published in JAMA confirming the frightening reality in China: more than half of all adults in China now are prediabetic.… Read the rest

Chinese Spring Festival Eve: As Unhealthy As Thanksgiving?

Next week’s Spring Festival will already be my sixth here in Beijing, and Spring Festival Eve is always one of the highlights of my year. My wife and I spend a wonderful evening with our Chinese in-laws, and all two dozen of us will gorge for hours on endless rounds of dumplings and snacks, drink all types of alcohol and juices, and happily shout at the TV screen as another awful performer lip syncs yet another tacky ballad.  … Read the rest

High Cholesterol Hits Home…



I’m in America right now, visiting my family for the first time in over a year. I’ve been having a wonderful time with them – right up until my older brother casually told me how, a year ago, his cholesterol was checked for the first time and “something was high, like I think my triglycerides were over 800, and my good cholesterol was low, and my total was over 300.… Read the rest