I have a total cholesterol reading of 8.3

I have a total cholesterol reading of 8.3. This has varied in the past 12 months between 7.3 to 7.1 to 7.4 then a jump to 8.3! My GP states I must start on statins. I am female, 64 and not overweight. I sit at a desk all day but attend the gym 6 days a week, cardio exercise classes plus tennis and badminton. I eat a healthy diet so I am assuming I have the 'FH' gene, although Mum died natural causes at 86, dad with throat cancer at 57. I have had an ECG several times, no problem there, full blood tests, no problems. Normal blood pressure. I have taken the statins for a month now but not happy doing so. Is there a further test to see if I am at high risk of heart problems or do I just assume that my High cholesterol level will kill me if I don't take statins? I am taking good quality Q10, (Ubiqinol) Please advise my next step. I am willing to pay for consultation and tests.

17 November 2013

It sounds like your GP has done a thorough assessment of your cardiovascular risk already. Further tests are unlikely to help. Research has proven that lowering your cholesterol to a safer level will help to prevent cardiovascular disease in the future.

If you have suffered from side effects of the medication you may wish to stop them and that is understandable. If not, there is no reason to stop taking them as they are quite safe. You will not significantly lower your own cholesterol enough by diet or Q10. So, you either take the statin or you decide to do nothing. Your GP could help you make the decision based on your risk factors and could even show your position on a risk graph (you may be in the medium risk group rather than the high risk group, so taking the medication is less vital). This could help you weigh up the pros and cons of treatment versus no treatment.

Ultimately only you can decide. You could also try seeing a different GP at your surgery to get a second opinion.

Answered by Dr Emmajane Down


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