Age or genes?

I asked a question last week about high cholesterol, & I`m still quite in the dark as to what has caused my condition. I attend a group practice of doctors, & I never seem to see the same one twice. Every doctor I`ve seen seems to have a different opinion of the cause of my problem. one has said that it`s probably genetic, while another says that it`s just a part of getting older, & I`m left wondering if it`s my parent`s fault for giving me bad genes, or just ageing.

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4 Replies

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  • Well, cholesterol does seem to increase with age, but is there a family history of early heart attacks or something else to suggest a genetic link?

    You can download a factsheet about FH diagnosis from BHF at bhf.org.uk/idoc.ashx?docid=... (I'm sure there should be something on the HEART UK site but the site doesn't work for me any more - maybe because I don't allow javascript)

    To be blunt, GPs vary massively on how good they are at diagnosing FH. Ask why they think what they think and decide for yourself.

  • Hi Hairyfairy,

    I had more or less the same problem and I am the same age as you. At my first visit the GP mentioned genetic causes and did I have any children which really scared me. Lipid levels do rise in women after the menopause, you don't mention how high yours are, mine are about 8 plus untreated.

    My rule of thumb is:

    FH is the main monogenic cause (one gene) which can be identified by genetic testing. This is the one that your children have a 50/50 chance of inheriting and you have it from birth.

    FCH (Familial Combined Hyperlipidaemia) is a mixture of environmental and genetic factors with a history of early heart disease and insulin resistance in the family.. I think I might have this but not dead sure! Levels rise with age, particularly with women after the menopause.

    Polygenic Hypercholesterlaemia...again a mixture of genetic and environmental factors...in other words , they don't know, but levels ,I think don't seem to be as high.

    It has taken me over 3 years to get this far. I don't have FH but I might have FCH...but most of the GP's in my practice haven't heard of FCH, they only know FH.

  • My cholesterol levels have been very mobile recently, my levels were 6.10, then I tried HRT in the hope of lowering them, which sent them soaring to over 7., then I tried eating lots of broccoli & carrots, & they went down to 5.3, then when I stopped the green veg diet they went back to 6.10. The doctor put me on Simvastatin, which helped my cholesterol but made me very tired sleepy, so I`ve stopped taking the meds, & i`m back on the broccoli. I feel much better without the drugs, & I`m waiting to get an appointment with my doctor to decide what to do next.

  • I'm not a doctor, but your readings don't seem to be that high and it's good that they go down when you eat healthily .

    Probably your GP's may mean it's polygenic....that is a combination of inherited factors and diet. I actually think that's a posh way of saying we don't really know !

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