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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Should I be worried about my cholesterol test?

    My results are cholesterol 7.9, triglycerides .7, HDL 2.63, LDL 4.9, but the chol/HDL ratio is only 3.

    My doctor is champing at the bit to put me on statins but I don't know anybody who hasn't had tiredness and muscle aches so I refuse to use them and I believe that the ratio is a better way to predict CDV?
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    Thanks

    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    Your bad cholesterol is too high and you should attempt to lower it. The type of action taken depends on whether you have a family history of heart disease.  Another step I would take is a Heart scan, also known as coronary calcium scan. These provide pictures of your heart's arteries (coronary arteries). Doctors use heart scans to look for calcium deposits in the coronary arteries that can narrow your arteries and increase your heart attack risk.  Depending on all these factors would determine the action necessary.
    I would tryto bring down your LDL by changes in your lifestyle initially – both diet and exercise. If this has no impact on your cholesterol then I would suggest drugs. With statins being hailed as the “drug of the century,”  doctors are quick to diagnose them. Although statins are the most popular cholesterol-lowering drugs, there are other options. Many of these are used alone or in conjunction with statins. If medication combined with lifestyle changes doesn’t enable you to reach your LDL goal within three months, your doctor may consider starting you on a second drug to boost results. Combination therapy can help reverse or slow the advance of atherosclerosis and further decrease your risk of a heart attack or death. Also, since both drugs may be prescribed in lower doses than if you were taking either alone, your risk of side effects may decrease.

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