Cholesterol test result: I’m from the... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Cholesterol test result

Bri4444 profile image

I’m from the Uk but out the country right now. I missed my doctors phone call about my results. He was supposed to call back but did not. They don’t answer the phone when I call

I got my test results from NHs app but don’t understand them.

It says.

Serum cholesterol 7.31 mmoI/L

Serum triglycerides 2.30 mmoI/L

Normal range 2.3

Serum HDL cholesterol level 1.61

MmoI/L normal range 0.75 - 1.85

Total cholesterol HDL ratio 4.5 ratio

Calculated LDL cholesterol level 4.65

mmoI/L normal range 0.0 -3.0

41 Replies
Kristin1812 profile image
Kristin1812Heart Star

I just Googled ‘Understanding Your Cholesterol Test Results’. It’s pretty clear.

If you have missed the call they will be expecting you to call them. If you do a bit of research yourself you will realise that you need to speak to someone about your results, it's up to you really, things are really difficult at the moment you have to persevere.

I was on hold for 90 minutes until they answered. The receptionist said the doctor would call back. He never did. And now they just don t answer.

I presume you mean you are held in the queue after the initial answer? Most surgeries have information as to what position in the queue you are and when the quieter times to call are. If they don't answer at all as you have said I would consider going to a different surgery. You need to get proper advice regarding your results, can you do this locally what country are you in if I may ask?

I’m in the US right now. Yes I e had the queue bit which was a very long queue and other times it just cut me off after a while.

Until I can get them to answer I guess I’ll just go for it’s high and to try to reduce it myself with diet etc.

You won't reduce that figure by diet alone trust me. You need to get sorted ASAP before the worst happens as you have family history, don't wish to sound glum but you are just about the right age for trouble, please do something ASAP before it does. Can you not access local medical care? You are highly likely to need medication and possibly a big lifestyle change.

I’m going to call the docs again and hope they answer.All I’ve been doing is taking aspirin.

I would have thought if it were this serious the GP would have got in touch.

For people with a family history of heart disease the recommended level is below 4 and around 3 would be good, yours is getting on for double, aspirin will not do anything about that but if I were in your position I might be taking it anyway until I got medical advice at least it might help if the worst happens, but I am not qualified to give advice to anyone. I do feel for you away from home is it not possible to get back here to sort out another GP or get some other form of help?

I’m not back until mid October.I doubt my travel insurance will cover this.

I had sold my home before I left the Uk. I was staying at my brothers temporary so I’ll probably have to register with another doctor upon my return.

OK, well in the meantime If I was in your position I would be on red alert. What is your diet like? You should try and cut down or out saturated fats, try googling Mediterranean diet there is loads of information around including here. You could also try calling one of the BHF cardiac nurses for a chat. When you finally get some proper help it will almost certainly include diet and fitness as well as medication so you might as well start now, do you do any regular exercise? If not I would be very careful about starting before you get checked out but gentle walking should be ok and probably help, but just take it easy otherwise, keep out the junk food outlets!

I did put on weight last year. Probably 2 stone over my ideal weight. I’m finding it hard to lose.

I eat quite a lot of meat, dont really eat from fast food places like burger joints etc.

I do walk and have started bike riding.

I generally feel ok but am worried.

I’ve got to try doctors after their lunch break.

Don't worry but you do need to be concerned and do something positive about it, being overweight is not good, as you obviously know. I guess the states is not the best environment for cutting down on meat but i would suggest you seriously do, along with all other sources of saturated fat - the only thing you can do until you get back home is alter your diet and start to lose weight. Like I say start googling the kind of diet you should be on, treat it like you actually do have heart disease, it will be a bonus of you don't. I would def call the BHS Nurses for advice they are great to talk to. You are going to have to lose that weight and get as fit as possible anyway to give yourself the best chance of side stepping any possible future problems, along with getting those levels down, for which you will almost certainly need medication. Good luck just do your best you really DON'T want to have any heart related problems while you are over there, or anywhere else for that matter, prevention is definitely better that cure on this one. Don't have a steak tonight!

I’ve chatted to the BH nurse. She explained I’m 2.31 over the recommended 5.0. So, I will cut right down on meat, I’m cutting out booze full stop, and more moderate exercise until I can be checked again. My goal is to reduce it without the need for meds.

I don’t eat much sugary stuff so that’s good.

More broccoli from now on. 😔

Good man. I would say, as far as I have been made aware, if you have a history of heart disease in the family you should be aiming to get it down to 4, I am a bit surprised she said 5. I tried bringing mine down by pretty strict dieting and failed unfortunately but we are all different. Believe me you are in a much better position now you are aware of the situation than could otherwise be the case, don't ignore the warning shots and good luck.

She just said the average was 5, not that I should aim for that. I didn’t explain that correctly. I hope I can reduce it naturally. As far as I’m aware it’s not been high before but things change with age, diet, stress etc. I’ve sent off another online query to the GP asking them to contact me by phone or email. Fingers crossed.Thanks to everyone for taking time to reply.

Have you reduced yours with Statins?

Yeah. I took them for quite a while and then began to think they were causing me problems, as I do a fair bit of quite intense exercise - to be honest the jury is still out to a degree. But I decided to stop taking them and followed a pretty strict diet, I am pescatarian anyway so no meat and very little dairy products, just semi skimmed on cereal only ate all the things you are supposed to and hardly any of the things you are not, plus loads of exercise. My cholesterol went back up to pre-statin levels of 4.9, too high for someone with family history, although the good cholesterol levels were a bit higher than those when on statins. Back on them it fell to 3.1 pretty quickly. So now i am back on them but still not convinced they are causing fatigue issues but I am loathed to stop them due to the evidence that they have the ability to stabilise plaques as well as lowering LDL cholesterol levels. There are some that contest this but it is still the mainstream belief, you have to make you own mind up sometimes. I am a massive believer in exercising as often and as hard as I can, it gives you a huge focus and stops the demons getting into your head. I hope you can get yourself sorted while you have time, I wish I had been warned of my situation when I was 53, good luck.

Yes, There is co flicking info on cholesterol with some doctors saying it does not lead to CVD but sugar is the culprit.

For now, I’m watching what I eat, no booze at all, I don’t smoke and generally I’m healthy.

It’s the family history that concerns me now, with my father dying at 50 which was heart attack that caused a stroke.

I’ll try my GP again tmw. I’ll just leave it on hold in the queue and hopefully I don’t get cut off and can get passed the receptionist.

If not, they call me back as I’ve sent another online form in requesting it and telling them my concerns.

I wouldn't say it is conflicting. The vast majority of cardiologists will go with the mainstream thinking that the enemy is saturated fats and high cholesterol levels. There are also some who think this is not the case and will say that it is high sugar levels derived from carbohydrates (refined), and actually encourage the consumption of fats (Keto diet and so on). As far as I am concerned it is a brave man who chooses to ignore the mainstream advice and continue to consume a high fat diet and largely ignore cholesterol levels. Well brave or daft, depending on your viewpoint. Personally I think the influence of diabetes clouds the issue and I am happy to nail my colours to the high fat mast. As far as i am concerned that is the sort of diet I have had all my life and that has what got me into this mess, despite being slim, fit and "healthy". It is up to you to get yourself as informed as possible and decide what to do, but it can be tempting to take the easy way out - you need to lose weight and get as fit as possible. A lot of people on here will say they have come though a HA and got a second chance of life, you need to take that before the first is threatened.

Yes I agree. I’m taking the viewpoint of these fats and sugars are both bad for me,

I don't worry too much about natural sugars (fruit and suchlike) as I burn them off, but you are right to steer clear as they still help to put the pounds on. There are many people who look for a magic cure, but at the end of the day you have to have the discipline to keep the pounds off, it is not easy especially in these days of crap fast food and so on.

Yes, no more junk food or burgers in the land of junk food for me.

A final bit of advice. Get yourself a packet of 300mg aspirins and keep them in your pocket. If you should have the misfortune to have a HA chew one, not saying you are likely to but it's one of the things they will tell you to do if the worst happens.

I’ve got some. I take one a day but I’ll check on the gms

If your going to take one every day the dose is usually 75mg, but hey I am no doctor. There was a bit of a phase a few years ago where older people were taking them to ward off strokes and HA and they were found to be causing other problems and the advice was not to. However everyone who has had a HA or stents (or even just narrowing of their arteries I think) will be on a blood thinner, so if I was going to stick my neck out, in your current situation I reckon I would take one as a short term precaution.

Your father dying at 50 is a big black mark against you unfortunately, it's like being in a race with a handicap, so you have to try and counterbalance it. On top if it is your cholesterol level, which is WAY too high for someone in your position. My father died at 55 and I have found myself in this club despite a lifetime of sporting activity and maintaining a good weight, as have lots of other people. I never smoked either. Basically you need to get those levels down and get as fit as possible and lose weight, you have years left in front of you. If genetics does beat you, like it did me, the fitter you are the better your chances of coming through it in a decent condition. The cardiologist told me if I had not been as fit as I was I might have not been around, sadly like lots of guys in our age group.

Yes, that’s true. I’m just surprised my GP doesn’t see the urgency in contacting me. I know they are busy but still!

Bri4444, you have to read the results in context with 'normal range' and it then becomes self-explanatory. I think I am right in saying that no-one would want to commit/give you an interpretation .... it is clear from what you have typed out. Read your results against the normal-range. Just as everyone has said, there is so much information out there on google when it comes to cholesterol ..... just spend a little time and get to read about it all. Take care and keep well. Denise.

I agree with Lateguitarist, persevere with your GP as these test results are on the high side and you'd benefit from a medical consultation.

Here in New Zealand they are quite strict.Total cholesterol 4

HDL over 3

LDL 1.7 but better if 1.4

Your trigs are borderline ok at 2.3 Here it's 1.1 however I wouldn't be too worried about your results the most important ones are get the good cholesterol up HDL over 3 and the bad cholesterol LDL down to 1.8

Asprins not going to help you should be on a low dose statin till you get back home surely someone in the US can give you this otherwise avoid red meat and sugar and junk food .

Bri4444 profile image
Bri4444 in reply to fairgo45

US healthcare is difficult. I’m seeing if I can speak with a doctor and still trying my own GP with no luck.

Good advice but if I were in this situation I would be tempted to take aspirin in the short term.

I am taking Aspirin one a day.

Hello Bri4444 sorry you are having difficulties getting direct medical advice. It’s unfortunately the way just now. I had high cholesterol which was a surprise as I haven’t eaten meat for 14years, eat lots of fish, don’t drink or smoke and eat healthily. Unfortunately as we get older our bodies do strange things like create cholesterol despite having very little by diet. I reluctantly agreed to statins. I had a male friend a couple of years ago who refused statins because he wanted to continue eating grapefruit. He died suddenly aged 58 while playing pool. Statins do cause debate but there are several. A Mayo Clinic cardiologist said he has aches and pains with his own statins but altered them until he found what suited with least bother. We can’t take risks with our lives. My legs ache a bit when walking uphill which I have to do living in Aberdeenshire but I am still alive. Good luck!

Bri4444 profile image
Bri4444 in reply to Peileen

Has the statins reduced your levels?

I had some routine blood tests done a few months ago and although I was contacted that I had to take tablets for low iron levels, that would be in the chemist for me, there was no word of cholesterol being high as there had been before the statins.

Bri4444 profile image
Bri4444 in reply to Peileen


In the US there are some walk in surgeries which do not require patients to be registered to be seen by the resident doctors. One in New Jersey is called Medemerge. Of course normally you would require American Health insurance to be seen. However I took my mother there some years ago when she was ill on holiday. They examined her and gave her antibiotics free of charge.( "samples") No appointment, no insurance and only a short wait.

Bri4444 profile image
Bri4444 in reply to pablojack

I’ll check into it, thanks.

LDL a little high but not dramatic. 1.5 - 1.7 would be great.

A quick update which is confusing. I got through to the GP surgery, only as far as the receptionist.She brought my test results up and said the doctor had commented there’s nothing to worry about.

I said I still want the doc to ring me or make contact.

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