It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



High Cholesterol Message Board


High Cholesterol Board Index


Here's my story -- I'm 55, female, and have a "benign" sinus arrythmia per the cardiologist that makes me feel annoying palpitations, etc., at times. To make me more comfortable, and keep my heart rate a little lower than it used to be (96 for YEARS, now the past three years it's 70-ish or less), I take just 25 mg. Atenolol every morning. I'm told I don't really NEED it, but my internist said it helps with palpitations, etc. Cardiologist also thinks taking it is fine though he was not the one to recommend it. In addition, I take an aspirin a day just for the heck of it, and a multiple vitamin and one tablet of vitamin C. I like to drink a very small amount of red wine (tiny glass) most nights, which the internist also says is fine.

I also use Xanax, small amounts on an almost-daily basis, as I am fairly anxiety prone and think every chest/neck/shoulder/arm discomfort is a heart attack. I would definitely be considered a worrywart and/or hypochondriac where anything health related is concerned. I [U]have[/U] had some very strange and impossible to diagnose "chest pains/discomfort" over the past few years. The doctors always look at me like I'm nuts... even drove myself to the ER two years ago, but I've never had an angiogram or cath. test, just an array of EKGs, an event monitor, lots of listening to my heart via stethoscope, a heart X-ray, and a stress echo.

For years now, I've had total cholesterol at around the 240 - 255 mark. After a number of years of being moderately overweight, I lost 30 pounds (bad gall bladder and subsequent GB surgery motivated me to lose the weight and keep it off) and am at my perfect weight for the past two years.

Still, current chol. levels are now: Total: 247, LDL, 141; HDL, 93, and Trigs, 66.

I know the "total" is high at 247, and LDL is high at 141, but with HDL at 93 and Trigs at only 66, how much risk am I really at for heart trouble?

I smoked a fair amount many years ago but quit cold turkey in 1992. Only my female relatives on my mother's side ever had heart problems, and then not until they were nearly 80 at least. No males have any heart histories and no one had early (pre-age 60) heart attacks at all.

The cardiologist thinks I am at pretty low risk for heart problems now, and though he says the statins are "good drugs," and that all drugs have side effects, he hasn't yet told me I need to use a statin. The internist, on the other hand, has been nagging me for two years to use (low dose) Lipitor or Zocor. She said it's clear my total cholesterol/LDL aren't going to go down anytime soon even with diet/weight loss. She said it's genetic, as is the high HDL, (high HDL being a good thing).

My ratio of HDL to total chol. is about 2.7, which I think is [B]very[/B] good. What do the rest of you think? Would YOU use a statin, with the many horrible side effects we hear about every day, if you had a ratio of only 2.7????? That, plus the low triglycerides (high trigs being a likely cause of artery problems) make me wonder if I even really [I]need[/I] these drugs now?

What do you all think? Thanks for your input!
[QUOTE=cheer up]..After a number of years of being moderately overweight, I lost 30 pounds...and am at my perfect weight for the past two years.[/QUOTE]Congratulations. That is great and quite beneficial from a health perspective. That is probably the second best thing you've done to reduce your risk of heart disease.

[QUOTE=cheer up]Still, current chol. levels are now: Total: 247, LDL, 141; HDL, 93, and Trigs, 66.[/QUOTE]That is an excellent lipid profile. You don't need any drugs based on those numbers. The risks just don't justify the benefits, if any in your case. Of particular importance is your very high HDL level and very low triglyceride level. That high of an HDL is very protective. And based on that low triglyceride level, your "calculated" LDL number likely isn't accurate since the equation they use to calculate LDL (LDL=TC-HDL-Trig/5) is only accurate when triglycerides are in the "normal" range of ~100-200 (the Trig/5 is used to estimate VLDL). Your actual LDL is likely less than 141. Also, low triglycerides (<100) are associated with a predominance of LDL pattern a (large fluffy particles) which are not associated with heart disease risk, unlike the LDL pattern b (small dense particles which are easily oxidized). Several studies in the past showed that you HDL/triglyceride ratio was your best indicator of heart disease risk (of the above measured lipids - new studies are showing C reactive protein - CRP - and lipoprotein (a) to be very predictive as well). Most of these studies are consistently being ignored today by the media and medical profession because of the statin manufacturers' push to focus on LDL for which they conveniently have a pill to lower. Anyway, an HDL/triglyceride ratio of <2.0 was shown to be very low risk of heart disease and 16 times better at predicting future heart disease than just looking at the total cholesterol level alone. And if you do your HDL/trig ratio you will see that it is much less than 1.0 which indicates very low risk of CAD. And regarding your total cholesterol, studies (Framingham for one) show that the higher it is, the longer you are likely to live, particularly in women.

[QUOTE=cheer up]I know the "total" is high at 247, and LDL is high at 141, but with HDL at 93 and Trigs at only 66, how much risk am I really at for heart trouble?[/QUOTE]247 is not really that high. Normal cholesterol levels are in the general range of 160 to 240 mg/dl. That "200" that most medical professionals quote is an artificial number created by committee - it has no basis in scientific or clinical research.

[QUOTE=cheer up]I smoked a fair amount many years ago but quit cold turkey in 1992.[/QUOTE]That is probably the best thing by far that you could do to reduce your risk of heart and related artery disease. Most don't realize just how damaging cigarette smoke is on the arteries. My dad who is now 80 and smoked all of his adult life has had a quad bypass, both carotid arteries opened, and now has peripherial vascular disease.

[QUOTE=cheer up]Only my female relatives on my mother's side ever had heart problems, and then not until they were nearly 80 at least. No males have any heart histories and no one had early (pre-age 60) heart attacks at all.[/QUOTE]That is definitely in your favor as well.

[QUOTE=cheer up]The cardiologist thinks I am at pretty low risk for heart problems now, and though he says the statins are "good drugs," and that all drugs have side effects, he hasn't yet told me I need to use a statin. The internist, on the other hand, has been nagging me for two years to use (low dose) Lipitor or Zocor. She said it's clear my total cholesterol/LDL aren't going to go down anytime soon even with diet/weight loss. She said it's genetic, as is the high HDL, (high HDL being a good thing).[/QUOTE]Who's opinion do you trust the most here? A cardiologist or internist? Sounds like your internist has been trained by a pharmaceutical representative.

[QUOTE=cheer up]My ratio of HDL to total chol. is about 2.7, which I think is [B]very[/B] good. What do the rest of you think?[/QUOTE]It is very good.

[QUOTE=cheer up]Would YOU use a statin, with the many horrible side effects we hear about every day, if you had a ratio of only 2.7?????[/QUOTE]Nope. No way.





All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:23 AM.





© 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!