Cholesterol test: Hi Everyone Just... - British Heart Fou...

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Cholesterol test

Rob6868 profile image
7 Replies

Hi Everyone

Just looking for some advice.

Had my HbA1c blood test and cholesterol done a few weeks ago and waiting for my appointment with cardiologist in next couple of weeks.. (Hopefully )😅😅

Question!! What part of the cholesterol test should I really take not of? The numbers I mean.

The particle? The ldl or hdl or total cholesterol? Therev is so much out there in regards to what the important part of the test is that I find it all confusing 😃

So any advice from you clever people will help! Some people say you want hdl sitting at middle ground and ldl lower and vdl??

So not sure 100% what's what?

Thank you everyone that replies 😊😊

7 Replies
MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star

There are reams written about this and at times I think the professionals get confused with total cholesterol, ratios, etc. I would suggest you check out the BHF website:

There is also a link to a downloadable booklet.

It is also important to keep your HbA1c in range as it can affect plaque buildup. Your diabetes consultant can advise you of your target figure as this can vary with type of diabetes, sub-type, age, etc.

Rob6868 profile image
Rob6868 in reply to MichaelJH

I haven't got diabetes

So I presume he's just checking

MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star in reply to Rob6868

Apologies... HbA1c is a measure of your average BG (blood glucose) for the preceding months. It is a far better diagnostic tool (for diabetes) than a random BG, and I'd an indicator of BG control in diabetics. Do just a check as you say.

Chappychap profile image

If you're determined to boil the test down to just one number then a good candidate is the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol, on your test results it may be reported as "Plasma Cholesterol/HDL Ratio".

You really want a number as far below 4.0 as possible. The NHS say the warning signal for high risk comes at anything over 6.0, but some experts believe this is too lax and high risk is anything over 5.0.

As well as a good single number for cholesterol this score can ring some alarm bells regarding diabetes risk, if you're in the high risk category then it's possible you're becoming insulin resistant and a blood sugar test might be warranted.

But more important than focussing on a single number is to come away from that meeting with an actual copy of the test results. You and your heart disease are going to be together for a long time, so building up a record of your key metrics makes sense. In fact one sensible strategy I've heard for living with heart conditions recommends a three step approach,

1. Compile a dossier of your previous medical history together with that of family members.

2. Going forward get and keep a copy of all test results.

3. Monitor at least four key metrics,

-Blood pressure

-Lipid/cholesterol levels

-Weight/waist measurement/BMI

-Blood sugar levels

Good luck with your meeting!

Rob6868 profile image
Rob6868 in reply to Chappychap

Fantastic reply

I've taken a lot of that on board and thank you so much Chappychap.

I've already got my viceral fat down to 11 from 14 in 4 weeks so I'm trying.

My BMI is down not that counts for a lot these days

Saturates are up and that's good.

My fat mass is 3stone now and muscle mass nearly 11 stone from my 14st.8lb body weight...

I was nearly 17st in may and have slimmed down.

Sadly I'm now starting to lose muscle that I wasn't before.

Part of me is wondering could that be statins? Hate them and I'm getting all kinds of pain in my body now.

Just trying to put more muscle back on while keeping weight under control is the hard bit as I don't want my viseral fat climbing up to 14 again...

It's weird because I had a cholesterol of 6.4 4 years ago and my doctor said just cut back on the pizzas a bit..

If he had told me the risk I would have changed there and then..

I'm currently at 4.3 I think?

Will keep you posted

Chappychap profile image
Chappychap in reply to Rob6868

"Part of me is wondering could that be statins?"

This is one of the really tricky things with medication. Most people are familiar with the idea of a "placebo", you take a pill and even if it's just a bit of sugar you convince yourself that you're feeling better and that the pill is responsible.

What's less well known is what's sometimes called the "nocebo" effect, the opposite of the "placebo" effect! Here you're taking medication when some random and unrelated problem crops up with your health, but now it's the pill that gets blamed!

I suspect that an awful lot of the bad press you'll read on this forum about medication is actually the "nocebo" effect being played out. Yes, I agree that excess Statin prescribing to low risk patients may well be a problem. But for high risk patients with confirmed heart problems Statins can be a lifesaver. Personally I absolutely would not want to do without my Statin (nor my Ramipril for that matter), and I'd need to see my key metrics down at very safe levels for an extended period of time before I'd consider stopping these key medications.

Useful observation from CC re. Test ranges being "too wide" to no benefit in terms of creating the long-term positive outcomes, in which case, you had no chance to modify your lifestyle. You were simply told, "it's okay" for a long time under GP's care and something happens. They finally say, 'let's check your bloods" after the 'event'. It's called, ass backwards. "But" medics know that their patients would not like it if they were told, "no junk food from now on". So it goes.

Prevention is the key. But sometimes, it takes extra effort.

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