Statin or not??: I'm going to be 5... - Cholesterol Support

Cholesterol Support

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Statin or not??


I'm going to be 50 years old later this year(!) - I'm 5"10' and just under 10 stone (62kg). I gave up smoking 10 years ago and although I'm not an athlete I do keep quite active as I have 2 young kids. My diet is reasonably healthy - porridge every morning and recommended amounts of fruit and veg throughout the day although I do like my crisps and biscuits which I know aren't too good.

I've been keeping an eye on my cholesterol level over the last couple of years - not because I've felt unwell but because my father died of an MI aged 53 yrs (in 1981) and it's a concern to me as I know family history can be relevant.

Previously my GP has told me it's my decision about statins but for some reason today when I got my latest results (which are the same as last year) she thinks I should go on statins.

Today's results showed I had total cholesterol of 5.2 mmol/L with breakdown below:

HDL=1.5 / LDL = 3.2 / non-HDL = 3.7 / Trigly=1 (mmol/L)

I try to avoid meds if possible and I have read articles about the "great cholesterol con" etc but at the same time worried about following in my fathers footsteps with 3 years to go!

I realise I should probably follow my GP's advice as she is qualified but just wanted to bounce some ideas of other people who perhaps were/are in similar positions.

Thoughts please and thank you in advance

5 Replies


Your printer test results may have given you additional information, indicating the reference levels.

You GP can do risk analysis, QRISK or JBS3 and fully explain the results. You can ask for tis to be done.

Medication or not, cholesterol is very important for human body functions.

Please do a lot of research before considering medication. OK, a doctor is medically qualified but they all follow NHS protocol.

For me 8 years ago I was told I had high cholesterol and high blood glucose. I went on a life style change to avoid medication. Given your weight and height there may not be any need for life style change but you need to look out for hidden and free sugar in food and drinks and also regular exercise for a healthy life.

Take care, please di give an update after your discussion with your doctor.

I took statins some 20+ years ago - I have pretty high cholesterol - I know I should know my numbers off by heart but I don’t. My father died at the age of 52 from his third heart attack, I’m now 72. I’ve also got well controlled high blood pressure. Anyway, I started taking statins as we left for a holiday heading for the south of France in our camper. I had never heard about side effects and had no knowledge of statins. I was just given them and took them.

Within a week I wasn’t able to walk to the bus stop just across the road from the camp site and there was no way I could have walked into the nearby town as we had done in the past. The muscles in my legs were so painful I could barely move. Eventually I started to feel really depressed - as if I just wanted to curl up in a corner and lie there.

My husband said to stop taking the statins but I said , no, the doctor told me to take them. Needless to say I had stopped by the end of our three week holiday. I went to speak to my doctor and was offered a different brand - I was taking Simvastatin. Basic and cheap I think.I declined. I thought I’d rather take my chance without them. We need cholesterol for our brains to function amongst other things.

I imagine if they are going to affect your muscles etc then you will know pretty soon after you start them.

I’m afraid over the years I’ve become very cynical about doctors - they give you all sorts of drugs for all sorts of reasons and deny you all sorts of drugs for other reasons - for example some doctors would rather give women antidepressants than treat an under-active thyroid with thyroxine and they can misdiagnose altogether into the bargain. I was told I was ‘needing a holiday’ when I actually had Graves Disease.

Besides the way I see it pharmaceutical companies are constantly touting statins for all sorts of conditions as well as cholesterol these days, it’s almost as if they would have you think that statins can raise the dead and make the blind see.

You have a cholesterol level I can only dream of. For over 20 years I have been running on 9.8, tried all the meds and given up on them after numerous reactions to the meds and not being able to move the cholesterol levels with them. At one time some years ago I was seen by a specialist who advised me to keep eating the food I was and get back to him if I felt something was wrong. I never ate too much junk food and usually ate pretty good clean food. Recently had to change my diet to no salt or sugar and little red meat as I'm CKD, Diabetic and have IBS. I have had HBP for a long time as well. After having my bloods done for my kidneys this month I was informed by my GP that I had high cholesterol levels at 6.4. I had to ask him to refer back to my medical notes and rephrase that statement. So now, I'm doing much better! It was a pleasant shock to find my cholesterol had dropped.

There are some people who can live with high cholesterol and then there are others who can't.

I can't advise as to take meds or not, that is a choice you need to make. What I can say is, what is best for your family. I know if I had family I would certainly have a different slant on taking my meds.

What is the worst that can happen, you get to see grandchildren.

Thank you for all the replies. For some reason I feel reluctant to take the statins - I think it's the thought of going on this long term medication when I feel fit and healthy and not even 50yrs old yet!

At the same time it's that fear factor and I have had it in my head for some time that if my dad had mi at 53 there's a good chance that could happen to me - I may be lean and skinny (!) on the outside but perhaps my arteries are full of rubbish for all I know! I have 2 young children and would hate the thought of them losing their dad when they are young like I did.

have a resting heart rate of 55 which I understand can be a sign of a healthy heart especially as I feel good on it

I appreciate the comments as I like to hear different views that hopefully help me come to a conclusion.

I was initially concerned about side effects but I guess there are different strains to try until you find one that works for you.

I will make a decision in the next few days and hopefully stick to my gut instinct and not bother with them but I know there is that nagging little voice in my head that will tell me I'm ignoring advice of professionals and what have I got to lose! Not easy is it?!

Thanks again

sandybrown in reply to Georgeb46


If you are interested to risk calculation you can find a quick calculator in this link below:

Sex Male Female

Age years (30-74 only)

Blood Pressure /(mmHg)

If you don't know your blood pressure, use 130/80 mm/Hg.

You should find out your actual blood pressure when you can.

Total Cholesterol

If you don't know your total cholesterol, use 5.5 mmol/l.

Find out your actual figures when you can, especially if you are male and aged over 45.


If you don't know your HDL, use 1.2mmol/l if male or 1.4 mmol/l if female.


Click if you currently smoke


Click if you are diabetic

Take care.

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