Low HDL, recommended statins... Experiences?

My cholesterol levels have been monitored closely for the last few years. The concern has been my HDL which has been low and not improved, even with diet. At my last test 4 weeks ago, overall cholesterol was 3.91 mmol/L with my LDL at 2.61 mmol/L (normal) and HDL at 0.76 mmol/L (low)... However, it meant that the Total/HDL ratio was raised at 5.1

Statins have been mentioned but stayed in the background because the only risk I was aware of was my grandfather died of a sudden heart attack and so I've not been able to take cox-2's.

Since then, because of other health issues and researching family history in more details, it seems I have significant risk factors for cardiovascular and now my rheumatology team would like me to consider going onto statins.

Has anyone else gone onto them and what are your experiences? I've heard various things, the main concern is the pain they can cause.

10 Replies

  • Yes this week ! So mine are similar to yours but with my family history and RA the doc felt I should havecthem. He explained Amy press coverage is sorta dvaremonhering and in fact the last two big research studies dhowed that it has a protective effect against Alzheimer's and cancers as well as heart problems.

    I took it st night initially as it can make some people nauseous ( one of my usual problems) however it was fine !!!

    Good luck and for me I would follow the docs advice!!! It cost their practice money do he wouldn't suggest them if u didn't need them!

    Loads of love x

  • I have been taking statins for 20+ years.

    When I moved to a new area, new,young, keen GP said he thought they weren't necessary ....no reason he just didn't seem to agree with them...despite the fact my mother & five of her sisters had ischaemic heart disease & 3 of them had a stroke plus I had been prescribed them by a cardiologist.

    I couldn't be bothered to argue at the time, & agreed to come off them for 3 months & then have another blood test.

    In that short time my cholesterol went through the roof....so he put me back on them ....It now hovers around 4 & I feel fine with none of the side effects that some media seem to enjoy frightening people with!

    There are different types of Statin...I have only ever taken Lipitor which has never caused me any pain or any other nasty symptoms.

    If your doctor recommends you take them- maybe you should?

    Good Luck whatever you decide,


  • Mines is Lipitor too xx

  • Mine is Simvistatin and I don't notice it at all, apart from it keeping my cholesterol down. As ever I tried diet first, but ratio's and levels remained above what is recommended. So given RA increases CV risk I decided to accept them. And not so much as a twinge...

  • Mine is over 7, so far have not gone back on them, Simvistatan just didn't agree with me, gave me a constant upset stomachs and nightmares. My diet is good, my good cholesterol is good, so far my Doctor, who would like me to go on them has not pushed me further.

  • Recommend reading Dr. Mercolas article on statins.

  • Hello. I have high cholesterol and tried two different types of statins and both made me poorly I had such bad muscle pain please note it doesnt affect everyone this way but I am now trying to get it down myself naturally without medication. I was fine until I started taking them and then my ra appeared so I don't really know if it was the tablets or the start of my RA but I don't want to try the statins again to find out. I have been told that if my cholesterol doesn't get better they can put me on the original cholesterol drugs. I hope they work for you 😊

  • The only statin without side effects is lipitor.

  • Hi Helly

    Thought that the info on this link may be of interest nhs.uk/news/2014/02February...

    Best wishes


  • Firstly MrsHellyG don't panic, though it is of concern with you having some family history, also having RD puts us in the higher risk category, if that's been mentioned? One positive is that your LDL (or 'bad' cholesterol) is good, ideally it should be 3mmol/L or less & your HDL ('good' cholesterol) that ideally should be over 1.2mmol/L so not far out & is still good. You don't mention your triglycerides, but it's the total you're needing to be working on to make your decision. You don't mention how your BP is, that's an important part as is your lifestyle (ie smoking & type of fats in your diet/limiting of sat fats), all go towards forming your cholesterol total.

    Really the greater concern is if you have first degree family history of heart related issues.... so that's your mum, dad, brother, sister or your children. Second degree is grandparents, aunties, uncles, nephews, nieces, half-brother or sister, this group aren't considered as great a risk.

    I'm in a similar position, though I have first degree heart condition/disease on both sides, mum & dad, both passed some time ago now though just my mum as a direct result of heart disease. My cholesterol was checked in the UK first time as part of a full cardiovascular check as I'm on a COX-2 NSAID long term. I admit, even though my GP explained everything well, I worried a bit unnecessarily as my LDL was initially 3.93 (in our category it should really be lower than 3). If I remember correctly my total was 5.3 so she suggested I tried altering my diet to try & bring it down which I did in the 3 months before I had my follow-up test. I was very good, I ate little to almost no saturated fats yet at my next test my LDL rose higher, diet wasn't going to work so statins it was, though I did my pro's & con's list (I do this if I have something important to decide!). The main issues for me were my history & the fact I was in a higher risk group having RD. Firstly I tried simvastatin (Zocor), 40mg, but after few weeks developed muscle pain in my arms so I've now been on atorvastatin (Lipitor), 10mg & a low dose, nearly 2 years now with absolutely no side effects & certainly no pain. But, as ever it's so individual & the only way to know for sure is to try. If I can say though really in your place I wouldn't not try statins, the evidence against them is too biased, they do work. If you choose to go on them & your GP recommends taking anything supplementary such as Vitamin K2 then do listen to his reasoning & consider his advice.

    As I've said I'm prescribed a COX-2 NSAID (Arcoxia/etoricoxib) & yes they come with a warning if you have high BP or have had heart problems (stroke/heart attack etc) but was it explained to you that if they're helpful for you all that's necessary is an annual full cardiovascular check which can be performed at your GP Surgery? It wasn't known apparently to a Registrar who told me to only take them when absolutely necessary, of course I did & suffered for it. My Rheumy apologised for this decision & reinstated them to nightly following my CV check & advised the Registrar that was all that was needed. So what I'm trying to say if COX-2's work the best for you do talk to your Rheumy to see if he'd be willing to prescribe them as per the necessary tests, which actually is no bad thing, at least any problems are picked up on & can be investigated. This was the case with my cholesterol, I do wonder how long this would have been ignored otherwise!

    Ultimately it's your choice. Maybe doing what I did & list the pro's & con's to arrive at that choice would help. Whatever it is I hope it's the right one for you, it's your body & your health after all & nobody can make you take anything if you're worried or not convinced it's right for you! Apols for the lengthy reply, it's a bit of a thing I've got at the mo because of my h & his heart troubles!

You may also like...