For example, the CVD 30-year risk calculator shows that a 40-year-old man with 159 total / 50 HDL has an 11% chance of developing full CVD in 30 years, whereas a 40-year-old man with 200 total / 50 HDL has a 14% chance of developing full CVD in 30 years. That's a 3% difference in risk over the 30 years. I understand that, for some people, that difference may not be significant.
BZZZZZZZZZZZZT, fail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. You've completely missed the point, which is that the HDL/LDL (or, in this case, HDL/total) ratio
is a more important predictor of risk than total cholesterol. By comparing 159/50 to 200/50, well no shit
you get an increased risk because the HDL/total ratio is lower as well as
total cholesterol being higher. If you want to isolate risk factors, don't change two things at once!
Your 159/50 (and I'm assuming you picked 159 vs. 160 so that the calculated risk score, which has a breakpoint at 160, would be lower...) corresponds to the same ratio as 200/63. I'll let you plug the numbers into the Framingham 30-year CVD calculator to see how they turn out (I'll give you a hint: it's not the way that supports your assertions).