Is higher or lower better

Is higher or lower better

Postby MikeDCross » Sat May 21, 2016 2:34 pm


When comparing blood tests for:
Full blood count - haemarocrit
Full blood count - MCH
Full blood count - MCV
Full blood count - haemoglobin
Full blood count - plateletes
Full blood count - RBC
Full blood count - White cell count
Testosterone - T
WBC diff - Basophils
WBC diff - eosinophils
WBC diff - lymphocytes
WBC diff - monocytes
WBC diff - Neutophils

In a higher or lower value on the later test better or worse?

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Re: Is higher or lower better

Postby steve » Tue May 24, 2016 3:26 pm

As no one else has responded, I'll give my layman's view. Unfortunately it's not very useful.

I don't know much about any of these tests but it;s not normally possible to say whether higher or lower is better. Many tests have a normal range and being outside that range is bad, for example with Growth Hormone, too high and you have Acromegaly, too low you have growth hormone deficiency.

To further complicate things the normal range can vary by age, gender, time of day, fasting or non-fasting and 'time of the month'. Among other factors.

Regards, Steve
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Re: Is higher or lower better

Postby MikeDCross » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:28 pm

Today I asked my consultant that simple question, for any one blood test, is an increase or decrease a good or bad thing; the response was "anything within the normal range is just fine and it does not really matter what the level actually is". So I gave an example of PSA, range 0-4, to me 0 is far better than 4, her response was "anything between 0 and 4 is fine", which really was not the answer to the question.

When pressed, she came up with as long as the levels are not really changing over time, then they are ok.....

I thought I was asking a simple question, and expected a simple answer, clearly I was mistaken.

I had expected a more useful answer, but perhaps it is me asking to much of a consultant.
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Re: Is higher or lower better

Postby plum » Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:52 pm

my (non medical trained) understanding is:

- that the body is so complex and the various bits so interlinked that it is not really possible for them to give a simple answer.
- it also depends on how much over or under the normal range a value is, and that again depends on what is being measured.

it is also worth looking out for trends. for example in my case my alkaline phosphatase was well within normal range for the 7 or 8 years pre-diagnosis. however the trend was that the value was increasing with time. so a spot check meant that yes i was 'normal' therefore nothing to worry about. but when i showed the trend over the years to my GP that is when he started to be concerned.

they are complicated things bodies!!!

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