'Amber' Cholesterol: Hi, I had a 40's... - British Heart Fou...

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'Amber' Cholesterol

mkrcs profile image

Hi, I had a 40's Health check by the NP about 4 yrs ago and was told I had high cholesterol. Advised to eat more healthy and introduce plant stanols.

Had a Bluecrest blood test this week for my life insurance, which still shows a slight high level. I don't know how accurate it is.

Am i entitled to a free NHS cholesterol test? 'm 51,

My father had triple heart surgery, has high cholesterol, heart failure. My mm also had high cholesterol. 2 o f my grandparents died of heart attacks, my other grandparent died of a stroke.

Bluecrest blood test results:

Triglycerides 2.00

HDL Cholesterol 1.7

LDL Cholesterol 3.0

Total Cholesterol 5.6

Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio 3.29

#cholestrol #cholesteroltest

10 Replies

Hello :-)

If you live in the UK you can have a free test with your surgery

Just phone up tell them your concerns and ask them if they could book you in for a blood test it should not be a problem at all :-) x

Dear mkrcs

A warm welcome to you and your first post, and what a post it is.

I can fully understand your concerns over your Cholesterol levels given your family history, but as you already know cholesterol level are only a part of the picture {a very important part }

There will be no problem getting the tests done on the NHS again based on your family history. {and more besides}

To my knowledge blue crest test is a good one.

Take care and I hope you get your answers.

If you look at the NHS recommendations on cholesterol levels here

nhs.uk/conditions/high-chol...

the values you quoted are, in my view 'only' borderline high, and so with diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes which are widely published (including the BHF) you should be able to comfortably reduce things to an acceptable level, without a significant change to your life. And if I were you I would only be aiming to lower my cholesterol by these methods certainly initially rather than by bothering with plant stanols which are, in fact, apparently of no benefit to people with normal cholesterol levels according to the British Dietetic Association, and arguably you are almost in that category. You could always try plant stanols later to see if it makes any difference.

But if you really want to noticeably reduce your cholesterol you could discuss with your GP whether a low dose statin is a way forward for you.

Finally although you may be entitled to an NHS cholesterol test and subsequently it is decided you require monitoring, any retests are only normally done annually if my experience over many years is to go by.

Hello there, a warm welcome, with your sad family history I would suggest that these values should be checked out along with other indicators of heart health. I'd encourage you to talk to your doctor and do mention the family history as the standard risk measurements do include family medical history.

Perhaps as well as cholesterol test you might also want to talk to your GP about your lifestyle and take a look at other risk factors.

I don't want to worry you unduly but the numbers are almost identical to mine before I had an unexpected heart attack with a GP telling me they weren't a problem. My family history is poor with my father dying of a heart attack and my sister also having had one at 50. Now with high dose statins the numbers are halved.

I was 49 and did not have high cholesterol and had a stent and then by pass six months after that. There was a strong family history of heart disease. I was very healthy and fit but did not understand or realise the symptoms I had were heart related! It’s really important you focus on the whole picture. Do you have discomfort or pain when you run? Walk upstairs ? Have weird indigestion? There’s so many symptoms that could be heart related. Have a candid conversation with GP And talk to them about possibly tests such as ECG, scan of heart, stress test etc.! It may be they need to consider low level statins to minimise future blockages. These kind of conversations might have prevented the intervention I needed to save my life. Good luck

SRDS profile image
SRDS in reply to Smellymjk

Similar thing happened with my husband. He was diagnosed with high cholesterol long back. But no test was conducted with regards to his heart. So he recently went through quadruple bypass at the age of 42. I agree that these tests are so important, they are life saving.

Shaivi

I was interested to read that other people find they can get a cholesterol test yearly from their surgery. Given that I now have been having cardiac related issues, including AF and PVCs, they are basing my cholesterol therapy based on a test done in Feb 2020. I asked for another test as I had been on statins for 6 months but didn't tolerate them, but was told it wasn't necessary.

Thanks all for your help and advice.

I'm waiting for a call back from the go today

With regards to lifestyle changes... I walk an average 14k steps a day spread over 3 walks, don't smoke, rarely drink, not overweight, don't eat red meat, use oat milk instead of dairy, in weight watchers to keep my weight in check eat minimum saturated fat, lots of vegetables, fibre, protein, mediation, swim a few times a week and running once a week.

With all of this my cholesterol is still borderline high?!!

LowerField profile image
LowerField in reply to mkrcs

Our individual make up is unique, and is derived from a number of factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and personal circumstances. and whether you have high cholesterol or not falls into that category it seems. You obviously lead a 'healthy' life style as did I when I was found to have a natural cholesterol level almost twice as much as yours when I got to my late 40s during a well man check. In my case genetics seemed to have overruled healthy lifestyle by a significant factor!

And whether you end up with serious heart disease also seems to be a bit of a lottery, like smoking is for some. There are many people who will ignore all the guidelines and still live to be a good age without issues, just like there will be others who are struck down early.

So go see your GP to discuss your situation and see what is on offer. But whilst testing over and above blood tests and BP checks would be ideal, I would have thought it unlikely you will be offered any more under the NHS other than advice and perhaps statins. The costs and resources are prohibitive to extensively test everyone who turns up at the surgery with an elevated heart disease risk profile, through ECGs echocardiograms etc. The NHS system is already creaking, servicing those who have a known problem. However if you have access to private medicine through your job or can afford it, it might be worth discussing some further tests done privately, if the GP and yourself believe them to be of value to you.

Definitely ask your GP for one and make sure they understand your family history. NOt one of our GPs ever mentioned family history to me despite 12 of my grandfather's siblings failing to live past 50. All died of heart failure as did my mum on the other side of the family. It was only a young newly qualified doctor from the 111 service that I saw because of breathlessness who bothered to ask me and immediately told my GP to send me for an urgent stress test. Unfortunately a heart attack beat the supposedly urgent stress test. I do now at least get annual cholesterol tests and a full cardiac check up.

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