Should I take statins if my cholesterol is fine? Can they not just moniter it and give meds if needed?

Ive been put on statins now, so I'm on the whole kit n caboodle for Paroxy AF. As I understand it these are to stop cholestrerol building up. Mine has always been lower than 5,so I'm happy and so was the GP until this condition started. I'm having my cholesterol tested on Friday and I'm wondering if I should not take the statins if its still at a good level. I read one doctors report in the media and he said he would never take statins as its not positive that they are any good. But! I read another doctors report which said all patients with AF should take them to out weigh any risk of stroke. Who do we believe? To be fair, they have had no side effects so that's not the reason I want to stop, I just feel that my body is flipping toxic now. I don't want to take tablets that aren't needed. I don't know what to do. Surely if I ask they will just test my cholesterol every year and give statin if it rises?

17 Replies

  • It really is a matter between you and your doctors, Valdoot but here's my experience, for what it's worth. I have PAF, low BMI and BP but tested at 5.3 two years ago.

    My GP immediately asked which statin I preferred !?!? and looked very sceptical when I refused so that I could try modifying my diet. Three months later it measured at 4.3 after I had removed too many buttered croissants and French cheeses from my diet.

    Like you, I prefer to keep medication to the absolute minimum for my AF - where I can and will discuss cholesterol again with my GP in the future.

  • Thankyou, I'm having a kidney blood test and asked if I could have my cholesterol tested at the same time as it was 18 months since it was tested. . He said there was no point testing for cholesterol because it would build up because of the condition so it s best to take them as a preventative. I have the blood done on Friday so I'm going to request cholesterol too, and see the results. If its still good, I'm going to ask to come off. My diet is really good, so cholesterol has never been a problem with me. Thankyou.

  • I do not think statins help AF at all to be honest but doctors (some anyway) claim them to be powerful anti- inflamatories and want everybody on them Since we are not medically trained here we really shouldn't comment so I agree with Finvola that you must discuss with your doctors. Nobody can force you to take something you don't want to but do it from education not prejudice.

  • What a mess it all seems to be with statins. Ive asked 3 different GP,s now, we continually have locums here, no GP at our surgery. They all say its best to take them, its just a report I read today in the paper and its put doubt in my mind as I hate tablets. So, yes theres a prejudice Bob, I'm not sure what long term side effects statins can have. Otherwise I'm fine with them, no side effects. Its just when I think to the future? What damage may they cause and it may be for nothing. Deary me, confused.


  • Hi I am from Australia, and the tide is beginning to turn against statins. I also have Diabetes type 1 and my Diabetes specialist is happy for me to stay off them, usually around 5.5.

    And my electrical cardiac specialist is also happy about me not being on them. He never even suggested it. A known side effect is muscle wasting, and many more. I think none of us want muscle wasting as we get older.

  • So many Dr's put people on statins when not really needed or for preventive basis. I felt so terrible on statins, my muscles hurt and I felt tired when taking it, so I went off them. Too many meds for the what if's. Less is better as far as I am concerned.

  • I agree I don't want to take meds if not needed, but I luckily have no side effevts so its a tough decision. Which doctor do I trust? lol. Thankyou.

  • I take statins and my cholesterol is fine. My doctors seem to think its better to take it because of AF.

  • Same here, I don't know what top do. Thankyou.

  • Must be a UK thing. In the US is is not given for AF, as far as I know.

  • Statins are anti inflammatory and there was some research at Harvard a few years ago which suggested that they might reduce the incidence of AF.


  • My cholesterol was 5.8 and I reduced it to 5 within 3 months using food e.g. garlic, oats, beans, so I don't take statins.

  • Mine was below 5 as I have a good diet too. I'm having it tested again on Friday so I,ll wait to see the results. If I remember he,s given me them as a preventative. I'm thinking if it satys low why take them? It svery confusing.

  • There is one key fact, often ignored. I think I am correct. Cholesterol is made in the body, especially if you do not get enough of it.

    Low Cholesterol levels are associated with higher death rates. So, statins for cholesterol levels are not a good idea. Statins may be useful for some other complaints.

    I like the book blog by Dr Malcolm Kendrick.

  • Saw a show on tv that COMPLETELY dismissed cholesterol readings and though expensive proved if you have it or not by looking into the artery for plaque buildup. Wish I could remember the procedure name. That is fool proof and does away with numbers by empirical evidence.

  • Hi

    I am new to the list, 10 days post ablation for AF. (And writing from sunny California). Valdoot, from what you have written, I can not advise you whether or not to take the advice of your GP regarding statins. But I have a suggestion for you. Google "risk calculator for stoke or coronary artery disease, or..." For example here is a url for an online risk calculator for stroke in the setting of new onset AF,

    Several years ago I was confronted with the same choice. What I found using several such calculators, surprisingly, was that lowering my serum cholesterol actually made my risk slightly higher. The next day I saw my cardiologist and asked him about the higher risk. Although his answer was not convincing we still had a good discussion. I hope you can use a risk calculator to have a productive talk the next time you see your GP and in the meantime aid you in your decision.

  • Hi, Ive just done a risk calculator and it says I have 2% so that's brilliant. Thanks for that. Its all very complicated. Ive been reading about vagil AF now. Thanks for the info, and I will be chatting to the GP on Thursday. I feel maybe I'm squirming because I just don't want the meds or the condition. I keep thinking Ive accepted this but in reality maybe I havnt. Ive seen about 4 GP,s and theyre all saying stay on the statins, but are they just afraid to go over another doctors head? I don't know? I,ll take them obviously if I have to but I just feel its not needed yet, but hey! who am I? I know nothing really. Its all very messy this condition. One doc says he would not take them and the next would (in the press that). Thanks for your answer and enjoy the Californian sun! The lucky person!!.

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