Young(ish) female with FH - diagnosed with atherosclerosis and high risk CVD

Hi guys,

Was on here a little while ago with questions about diet as I have confirmed genetic FH. I am 30 years old, very fit and active (high intensity exercise 6 times a week, mountaineer and endurance athlete). Have just had the results of a C-IMT ultrasound and I'm in the 75th percentile for my age/gender for atherosclerosis and high risk for CVD. They want to put me on statins.

Question 1: I want to have a family in the next year or so and do not want to be on statins for baby/breastfeeding

Question 2: Statins have so much bad press recently, is this really the only option?

Question 3: Does anyone know how serious I should be taking this... what are the normal values for C-IMT for my age/gender, anyone know?

Sorry for so many questions. I still feel so young and fit, its come as a bit of a shock.

Thanks in advance!

Kat

8 Replies

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  • There are alternatives to Statins, you need to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about this. Ask for an appointment with a pathologist or lipid clinic for expert advice.

    Diet may help as does exercise, but from what you have written that is in hand..

  • Hi Littleowl,

    There is a good page on pregnancy and breast feeding on the HEART UK website, statins not recommended for pregnant women. There are alternative drugs.

    I also had an IMT scan which put me average on one side and in the 75% slot on the other, slight thickening but no narrowing so I wasn't too worried. Consultant told me people with FH are typically in the highest percentile. Not good at maths, is the highest percentile 90%? Somebody may know.

    Hope that helps a bit.

  • Hi Kat

    I understand your concerns over statins. And doubt that they will be recommended if you are planning pregnancy. As far as alternatives to statins are concerned the key to health and reducing your risk if further CVD is to get cholesterol down.

    You said in your post title youngish. And you are young. I'm 48 and put off taking statins for a long time. Because I was young. I'm still young really but am now waiting to have pressure wire testing and stents because my CVD has progressed. I wish I'd started on the statins earlier. I've been on them for about 2 years and am uncertain as to whether I have side effects. I have some muscular pain but its a dull ache. It doesn't stop me exercising or functioning generally

    Watch your cholesterol levels. Have babies then look at the medication again. There are different statins to try if you do develop symptoms, but the thing you do know is that your risks of CVD are a reality whilst side effects from statins are a possibility.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide to do.

  • Hi Kat,

    Try taking a look at thefhfoundation.org/ and also fh-foundation.org/ for more information. Do you have elevated Lipoprotein (a) or low HDL? If you have elevated Lipoprotein (a) you can follow us on Facebook facebook.com/LipoproteinaFo... We are just getting started with the foundation and there will be a web site etc. to come with more information. Hope this helps with information for you.

  • Also, if you are going to get pregnant you need to ask if you should be under the care of a high risk pregnancy doc. Ask about what you should do to avoid pre-eclampsia etc. when pregnant. I had a baby, here in the US and had excellent care but they knew I had no flow-limiting blockages in my arteries before I got pregnant due to a CT-angiogram and I took a baby aspirin a day while I was pregnant. Not a full aspirin a 80 mg one. Statins cannot be taken when you are pregnant and I came off mine 6 months before I got pregnant. But, this was all under the care of a team of docs including a cardiologist and a high risk pregnancy doc. Also, from a genetic point-of-view, baby has a 50% chance of inheriting FH. Not great news, but news a genetic counselor can advise you on based on blood work from you and your husband. BTW, my Mum lives in Braintree :-) I live in SF in the US. Good luck with everything!

  • Thank you for your answers.

    As much as I would like to take your advice re statins, I can't because we're trying for a baby soon and we don't want just one... so in all reality I may not be able to seriously consider the pharmaceutical route for 5 years or so.

    Braintree2012 I had no idea I would be classified as a high risk pregnancy... that's really scaring me! My HDL seems fine, its my LDL thats sky high. Total cholesterol levels look like 9.1 on my results paper.

    Perhaps I need to calm down on the googling and interneting a little and just keep in touch with my lipid clinic and GP.

    Thanks everyone.

  • The very best of luck with your baby plans.

    I was reading (somewhere!) that human breast milk is very rich in cholesterol and although a new born baby has low cholesterol (perfectly normal) if they are breast fed levels approach adult levels by 6 months. This is all good!! as a baby needs all the cholesterol it can get and Mother Nature wouldn't be stupid enough to put it there if it wasn't needed. (My opinion).

  • Hi Kat

    It was good to read your message - felt like I was reading about myself!

    I too am 30 years old, diagnosed with FH but otherwise very fit and healthy. Boo :(

    I am going through the same dilemma as you - keen to start a family soon but worried about the risks of pregnancy and delaying statins for a few years.

    I have an appt with my cardiologist next week, but I was wondering how you got on and what decisions you have made? Always nice to hear from someone in the same situation!

    Helen

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