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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!

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