AF Association

Blood pressure and cholesterol

Hi all, I've been having tests for cholesterol and found it was at 8.1! Six weeks ago. So doc put me on tablet atorvastatin to help try and get it down went today for results and it came back at 5.6. Is this normal couldn't get any answers from nurse. I have changed my diet, eating little but often. Can this be anything to do with verapamil? I do still have missed beats which really is unnerving and I think it's going to be another night of AF. Still can't get my head around all that comes with it. Sorry just sounding off to you all, I know you all understand and it's great to know that you are all there. Xx

7 Replies

Hi Sarah

The statin has obvisouly brought your level down and change in your diet. A couple of months ago I was going through my notes with my heart failure nurse and I asked what my cholesterol level was as I had recently had a blood test. She said it was 5.6 just over normal (I think normal may be about 5). My GP had suggested a statin but I did not want to take one (my hubby does and it causes him problems, tiredness and aches and pains)the meds for my AF cause enough probs without adding more to them. Anyway she said she was quite happy with it at 5.6 (I have also adjusted diet a bit, was being naughty at the time, strawberrys and cream, and desserts I should not be eating!!!) and just to keep an eye on it she was not one for jumping in with a statin to take at that level.

Alot of GP's used to put people on statins when it was just over normal when you were of a certain age. This happened to my husband a few years ago, I am sure his reading was only just over at the time. I keep nagging him to go to the GP to come off the statin to see what his level is as he has adjusted his diet over that time, he may not even need to take.

Anyway your present 5.6 seems faily good but unless you come off the statin for a while and then redo the test you will not really know what it is.



Hi Sarah, I agree with Cassie and am very wary of Statins - the tide is already turning on this one with new research and Big Pharma is soon going to have to find something else to convince doctors and scare us. Statins are considered to produce aches and pains and leach certain essential minerals (could be Mg I have forgotten).

Blaming cholesterol for strokes etc is like blaming the Ambulance for being present at an accident. I would talk to an experienced Alternative Practitioner and find out whether there is some inflammation in your body causing it to create more cholesterol to mend it. Also it is useful to find out not just the total cholesterol figure but the split between HDL,LDL & Triglycerides. Everybody has a different normal level.

As a result of having AF, I had my heart and carotid arteries scanned recently, which were completely clear and I have had 7.1 cholesterol since my records began 20 years ago. Lastly, don't go crazy cut out processed food but not organic cream,butter,grass fed meat fat etc -all that is again coming back , google Weston A Price. Good luck.


I was found to have a level of 13.1 at my 35 year MOT so after trying some other drugs have now been on atoravastatin for 17 years with a level of under 5. It didn't stop me having a heart attack as the damage was already done, but it definitely delayed it for about a decade, and are now keeping my heart bypasses clear.

There are a few people who have problems with statins but this ignores the vast majority of us for whom they've been a great help. If you are genetically dispositioned to a high cholesterol level, which with such a high level you probably are and I definitely was, then nothing you can do with your diet will reduce the level significantly. And be very wary of the crank 'alternative practitioners' who seem to think you can fix arteriosclerosis with 'natural' methods - it's pure mumbo-jumbo.


Hi Sarah great result with cholesterol wow your diet and statin done the trick exercise if you can as well.a result under 4.0 is what cardiologists like .good luck 🤗

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I think the ratio of total to good is very relevant. My total is 7.2 but my good is 2.1 giving a ratio of 3.4. From what i read anything under 4 is ok. ( figs from memory - hope they are right). I will now try to reduce my total - got this down by about 10% with diet and exercise alone when i had a high reading before.

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Hi sarah - oh yes it's so good to have this forum full of supportive people who understand the questions and fears we have, isn't it?

Firstly well done for bringing your cholesterol down :)

I do think different medics have different attitudes about what is ok re cholesterol. My GP was very quick to say that on a constent reading of around 7.9 with other risk factors (AF, high blood pressure) I should be on a statin. But my cardiologist was very shruggy about it and didn't think it was necessary or advisable.

When I told my GP what the cardiologist said, she then put my details through some computer system that generated a number. Which to her surprise indicated that even at 7.9 with the other risk factors, there's no need to prescribe statins at this stage. I got the impression from her surprise that the boundaries have changed from a few years back, but I'm not sure.

Who knows? We're always at the mercy of the latest research and their personal preferences, i guess! Anyway, good luck - and wishing you good health all round :) x

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Total cholesterol does not give the whole picture so looking at the HDL:LDL ratio is also important. My total is nearly always 7+ but my ratio is excellent so although the total triggers GP alarm bells, my cardiologist & neuro (who if anything monitors my cholesterol with far more vigor than my cardiologist) is very happy with my score.

Whatever you do - do not lower your fat intake! But do consume plenty of healthy foods with high fat content such as nuts, almonds etc.

You may find the Cholesterol Forum on HU useful with views on both sides regarding cholesterol, as there is on everything!

I cannot take statins but have taken plant sterols in capsule form which have helped reduced my cholesterol and are as least as efficacious as statins - but not available on the NHS of course!

I was told by my nutritionist that a ‘wellness’ plate will consist of 70% green veg, 25% protein and fat, 5% carbohydrates and that every meal and snack needs to contain all 3 in those proportions. Fruit should be no more than a small handful daily, mostly berries or ‘local’ fruit which for us is apples, plums, berries etc, That meant a very radical change of diet for me but well worth it as I now feel so much better and it must be noticeable as everyone comments on how much better I look and feel.

I was also told by my neurologist to INCREASE my fat intake - a low fat diet decreases cognitive functioning.

Good luck.

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