Cholesterol Support

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.

4 Replies

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 (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 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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