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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Do I need to take Statin?

    My cholesterol is high. My GP said it was 6.6 and he wants to start me on Statin. I am concerned because I’ve heard about side effects. How do I know if I really need it?
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    Dr Stephen Fenton

    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

    Dr. Fenton is a highly regarded general and preventative adult cardiologist. He has extensive training and experience in acute and emergency cardiac conditions, preventative cardiology, … View Profile

    High cholesterol levels, particularly a high LDL (bad cholesterol) are definitely risk factors for the possibility of an underlying vascular disease in general and coronary artery disease specifically. LDL can be thought of as a vascular toxin. Lowering your LDL cholesterol level is important and can be achieved by lifestyle measures, including an optimal diet, regular exercise and other important things such as achieving a work /life balance and reducing stress. Whether somebody requires a statin or not, is a very individual matter and is best managed by assessing an individual’s risk including plaque testing. If your doctor is considering giving you a statin but is not certain about whether you need it or if you started on statin and are experiencing side effects, then referral to a preventative cardiologist is recommended.

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