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255 Total
172 Direct LDL

Yikes! :( That puts me at high risk. Should I consult a physician and get on meds or try lowering it with diet first?
 

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Yes, get a check-up. I suffered a heart attack last year at age 56 despite running every day for 30 years (including marathons), keeping a low weight (130 lbs. at 5'7"), and maintaining a strictly whole foods diet (no junk/fast/prepared foods). As my cardiologist explained to me, genetics has a lot to do with it and he's seen marathon runners and other athletes in superb shape drop dead. Despite my healthy life style, due to my genetic deficiencies, I have to take 5 prescription meds the rest of my life as a preventive measure to hopefully avoid another heart attack. So go get checked up and, if necessary, get on a preventive program!
 

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255 Total
172 Direct LDL

Yikes! :( That puts me at high risk. Should I consult a physician and get on meds or try lowering it with diet first?
At that level of LDL, diet alone is unlikely to get you below 100 LDL (preferably below 75). You are going to need meds in addition to diet and exercise. Also pay attention to your VLDL. You need to keep that low as well.

Get the Amercian Heart Association's cook book. Exercise more. Eliminate saturated fat (or at least most) in your diet, and choose low cholesterol foods. Emphasize soluble fiber in your diet, which is one form of dietary fiber. Unfortunately food product labels don't separately specify soluble from insoluble fiber, so you have to research sources of good soluble fiber (e.g., oats, garbonzo beans, ...). Take Metamucil daily as it is a very good source of soluble fiber, and is the only fiber supplement type (psyllium) that has actual data showing it reduces cholesterol.

I take Simvastatin (generic of Zocor) and do the above and reduced my LDL from 128 to 57.
 

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Yes, get a check-up. I suffered a heart attack last year at age 56 despite running every day for 30 years (including marathons), keeping a low weight (130 lbs. at 5'7"), and maintaining a strictly whole foods diet (no junk/fast/prepared foods). As my cardiologist explained to me, genetics has a lot to do with it and he's seen marathon runners and other athletes in superb shape drop dead. Despite my healthy life style, due to my genetic deficiencies, I have to take 5 prescription meds the rest of my life as a preventive measure to hopefully avoid another heart attack. So go get checked up and, if necessary, get on a preventive program!
Athletes typically are not your healthiest people. I've worked with hundreds of athletes and rarely are they in as good of health as joe blow at the bar that works out a few times a week and watches what he eats. But yeah, genetics is the biggest culprit. They don't even know if cholesterol is really a player.
 

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At that level of LDL, diet alone is unlikely to get you below 100 LDL (preferably below 75). You are going to need meds in addition to diet and exercise. Also pay attention to your VLDL. You need to keep that low as well.

Get the Amercian Heart Association's cook book. Exercise more. Eliminate saturated fat (or at least most) in your diet, and choose low cholesterol foods. Emphasize soluble fiber in your diet, which is one form of dietary fiber. Unfortunately food product labels don't separately specify soluble from insoluble fiber, so you have to research sources of good soluble fiber (e.g., oats, garbonzo beans, ...). Take Metamucil daily as it is a very good source of soluble fiber, and is the only fiber supplement type (psyllium) that has actual data showing it reduces cholesterol.

I take Simvastatin (generic of Zocor) and do the above and reduced my LDL from 128 to 57.
Why do you want LDL below 100? Normal is <130 and I personally think there should be a minimum set. Drop your cholesterol too low and you won't get an erection. (steroid hormones are synthesized from cholesterol) I'd rather have the cholesterol personally. For what it's worth, decreasing dietary cholesterol intake for a majority of people won't result in any cholesterol drops. Dietary cholesterol doesn't really equate to blood cholesterol.
 

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I also take Simvastatin (generic of Zocor) along with Plavix (due to my Stent), Altace, Metopropol, Asprin, and Nexium (not heart-related) on a daily basis.
 

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my Dad was just over 900 at his check up so I think you'll live. He lost his life insurance I'm pretty sure but he has since brought it down by laying off the bacon and such. It's surprising because we hike up some tough mountains at least once a year and he seemed pretty healthy. I told him to slow down on the scrapple.

sorry, to clarify: scrapple is made of the stuff that doesn't make into hotdogs
 

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my Dad was just over 900 at his check up so I think you'll live. He lost his life insurance I'm pretty sure but he has since brought it down by laying off the bacon and such. It's surprising because we hike up some tough mountains at least once a year and he seemed pretty healthy. I told him to slow down on the scrapple.

sorry, to clarify: scrapple is made of the stuff that doesn't make into hotdogs
I've never heard of someone over 900.
 

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geez,
what are you people eating? your body's a temple, not a garbage disposal!
seriously, you probably can impact those numbers significantly with life-style changes.
 

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geez,
what are you people eating? your body's a temple, not a garbage disposal!
seriously, you probably can impact those numbers significantly with life-style changes.
Maybe. There are folks with high cholesterol with genetic factors being the predominant factor, like my dad. He eats "cleaner" than most people I know and works out almost daily. His total cholesterol is over 330 without cholesterol medication.

Can one of the medical types here provide a link to a report that proves a connection between cholesterol-lowering medication and a reduction in incidence of heart attacks?
 

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I also take Simvastatin (generic of Zocor) along with Plavix (due to my Stent), Altace, Metopropol, Asprin, and Nexium (not heart-related) on a daily basis.
why Metopropol isnt that a beta blocker for high blood pressure or to slow down your heart rate? carl
 

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Maybe. There are folks with high cholesterol with genetic factors being the predominant factor, like my dad. He eats "cleaner" than most people I know and works out almost daily. His total cholesterol is over 330 without cholesterol medication.

Can one of the medical types here provide a link to a report that proves a connection between cholesterol-lowering medication and a reduction in incidence of heart attacks?

There are many trials that look at statins and chd. While wikipedia does not go too far in depth about the study, the link will suffice:

4S:
Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Statins lower LDL, which is considered the bad cholesterol. More evidence now suggests the importance of treating trigs and HDL on top of LDL.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
geez,
what are you people eating? your body's a temple, not a garbage disposal!
seriously, you probably can impact those numbers significantly with life-style changes.
I actually eat really well... at least I thought I did. I rarely eat red meat (as in once every two weeks), almost never eat egg yolks (prefer whites only), and only go for skim milk and mozzarella cheese. I generally try to stay away from animal fats...

However, I eat a lot of chicken and turkey breast, which I recently found out are pretty high in cholesterol. I also eat shellfish at least once a week. Still, that shouldn't affect my cholesterol, right?

I think it must be genetic. My father had a heart attack 5 years ago and is now on Lipitor. My grandfather died from a stroke at age 60.

Some thoughts, though...
  1. I haven't exercised regularly in the last year, and have put on quite a bit of weight. I'm almost certain that's affected the number.

  2. I also went to brunch the day before I had my labs done, and had 3 eggs benedict (with extra hollandaise sauce) and a few pieces of bacon and sausage. Rare treat for me. Yum! :p
Anyhow, I'm thinking the fat-binge the day before might have contributed to skewing the number a little? I mean, in the past, I've always had pretty low cholesterol (last tested in 2007).

Well, I'm gonna ask my doc about it. I definitely want to get retested before going on meds though.
 

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Can one of the medical types here provide a link to a report that proves a connection between cholesterol-lowering medication and a reduction in incidence of heart attacks?

Here you are...


Effect of Statins on Risk of Coronary Disease
A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

John C. LaRosa, MD; Jiang He, MD, PhD; Suma Vupputuri, MPH


JAMA. 1999;282:2340-2346.

Context Lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is known to reduce risk of recurrent coronary heart disease in middle-aged men. However, this effect has been uncertain in elderly people and women.

Objective To estimate the risk reduction of coronary heart disease and total mortality associated with statin drug treatment, particularly in elderly individuals and women.

Data Sources Trials published in English-language journals were retrieved by searching MEDLINE (1966–December 1998), bibliographies, and authors' reference files.

Study Selection Studies in which participants were randomized to statin or control treatment for at least 4 years and clinical disease or death was the primary outcome were included in the meta-analysis (5 of 182 initially identified).

Data Extraction Information on sample size, study drug duration, type and dosage of statin drug, participant characteristics at baseline, reduction in lipids during intervention, and outcomes was abstracted independently by 2 authors (J.H. and S.V.) using a standardized protocol. Disagreements were resolved by consensus.

Data Synthesis Data from the 5 trials, with 30,817 participants, were included in this meta-analysis. The mean duration of treatment was 5.4 years. Statin drug treatment was associated with a 20% reduction in total cholesterol, 28% reduction in LDL-C, 13% reduction in triglycerides, and 5% increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Overall, statin drug treatment reduced risk 31% in major coronary events (95% confidence interval [CI], 26%-36%) and 21% in all-cause mortality (95% CI, 14%-28%). The risk reduction in major coronary events was similar between women (29%; 95% CI, 13%-42%) and men (31%; 95% CI, 26%-35%), and between persons aged at least 65 years (32%; 95% CI, 23%-39%) and persons younger than 65 years (31%; 95% CI, 24%-36%).

Conclusions Our meta-analysis indicates that reduction in LDL-C associated with statin drug treatment decreases the risk of coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality. The risk reduction was similar for men and women and for elderly and middle-aged persons.
 

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I think it must be genetic. My father had a heart attack 5 years ago and is now on Lipitor. My grandfather died from a stroke at age 60.
There ya have it.
genetics.
blame it on the parents.

(I also give my dad grief for my baldness, makes up for all the times he took the car away from me as a teenager :D)

get tested again, but don't be afraid to get on the statins.
it's pretty normal nowadays, and shouldn't cost too much on your healthplan.

If you're borderline, sure, you could exercise and eat insanely healthy, and maybe squeak under the limit as to what's considered heatlhy. (I believe they lowered it from 200 to 180 recently? or less?).

But at least once you're on statins, you'll then be able to have that steak, or eggs benedict with bacon every so often, without worrying so much.
 
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