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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

Lower Numbers??
Dec 9, 2006
Do I need to be medicated??
Two years ago my numbers were:
Total 202
LDL 136
HDL 50
My Dr. told me they needed to be lower. I've been working out hard and modified my diet. I just got my tests back:
Total 184
LDL 109
HDL 56
Tri 95
Now he says the "guidelines" have changed and wants LDL < 60....and wants me on statins. My mother died from a brain hemorage at 41 and my father lived to 75.......
Opinions? I don't want medication if it's not needed.....
Good grief. You're numbers are about as perfect as any human can get. The only guidelines I know about that require an LDL below 70 (not 60) are for people with established heart disease, like me. Do you already have heart disease???

I doubt there is any human who can naturally sustain an LDL below 60 (I can't do it even with lots of meds, and lots of people with heart disease can't get below 70 even with meds). So everyone should be on drugs?? That's plain stupid. Not to mention the increased risk to health it could cause.

I just checked the American Heart Association website to make sure something hasn't changed. They still consider LDL 100 to 129 "near optimal"'s more complicated than that, but that's the "gist" of it.

The NCEP (National Cholesterol Education Program) guidelines still state "For people with known coronary artery disease, diabetes, or more than a 20% risk of developing symptomatic CAD during the next 10 years, medication is considered when LDL is 130 mg/dL or higher...
If the LDL cholesterol is between 100 mg/dL and 129 mg/ and exercise may be tried, but medication may be started sooner if the person has coronary artery disease."

I am not anti-statins; I take them myself. But if you don't have other factors that place you at high risk of a heart attack, putting you on meds with your numbers is ridiculous, especially if you haven't tried additional lifestyle changes and supplements first (not that I believe you need them either unless you have several other risk factors).

There are lots of risk factors for heart disease, LDL is only one of them, and there is research to show it isn't the main one. Smoking, stress, family history, age, low HDL (which you don't have) and high triglycerides (which you also don't have) are only a few that probably put you at higher risk.
Re: Lower Numbers??
Dec 10, 2006
Obviously, I think, and both my doctors agree, that for a person with PROVEN heart disease, reversal is possible only with even tighter control. So when my doctor advised either adding Zetia or doubling my Lipitor to get my LDL from the 80's to the 60's I concurred readily.[/QUOTE]

Well, I must admit that I am somewhat suspicious whenever doctors use the term "reversal" while attempting to drive a person's LDL level into the ditch.

Of course, if you are someone who has a miserably low HDL level, and all attempts to raise it have failed, then lowering LDL becomes a more viable option.

But I think that the majority of people can in fact increase their HDL levels. Actually, it's probably easier, by natural means, to raise HDL than it is to lower LDL. I think what really matters here is not so much what your LDL level is, but what your LDL/HDL ratio is. The higher a person's HDL is, and the lower the triglycerides, the better! If you can maintain both in a favorable range, then I think LDL becomes much less of an issue. Furthermore, I believe that before doctors attempt to artificially drive LDL levels down into the 60s via statins, that they should first measure LDL, and determine whether it is predominantly Pattern A or Pattern B LDL. If a person's LDL is predominantly Pattern A (which is more likely to be the case with a favorable HDL level and low triglycerides), then I think that LDL becomes much less of an issue, and I see no point in driving it down to ridiculously low levels.

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