Question: My total cholesterol is 225 (LDL is 139 and my HDL is 61). Is this too high? I don’t want to take a statin.
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
Yes, your total cholesterol is over the recommended 200 limit. A normal LDL ("bad cholesterol") should be 130 or less. A normal HDL ("good cholesterol") should be over 60, and since this is protective against heart disease, the higher the better. Do not forget to factor in your triglycerides with your risk evaluation also, as these are an independent risk for vascular disease.
But your cholesterol total is not unacceptably high for a healthy person, so you are probably not a candidate for statin treatment. But if you have diabetes, or other risk factors for vascular disease or heart disease (hypertension, smoking, obesity, family history or past history of heart disease, stroke, elevated triglycerides, or syndrome X), then these figures may not be acceptable.
For instance, diabetics are advised to have their LDL as close to 80 as possible, and certainly less than 100. Similar targets are set for others with significant risk factors, and it is very hard for some to reach these targets comfortably and safely without the use of a statin drug such as Crestor (my current favorite). For your information, most physicians set their own targets for LDL of less than 100. Discuss this further with your physician, and if you have any doubts, request a cardiology consultation for a second opinion.
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