I've been noticing a number of individuals who seem very anxious, sometime frightened, about a diagnosis of high-cholesterol from their doctors. I think this is a result of the aggressive marketing of statins to doctors, many of whom are totally unaware of their side-effects, or how they work... Many doctors seem to be scaring their patients into taking statins... To me this is unethical and bad medicine!!
Before you have a heart-attack from worry over a number which may or may not predict heart disease - take a look at some opinions from the other side of the fence - from those not taking money from the pharmaceutical industry who dare to challenge the advise of the Pfizers & Mercks of the world...
There is an organization called THINC - The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics - a growing body of doctors and scientists who dare to doubt the guidance that the lower your cholesterol the better, and who feel statins are grossly oversubscribed. Their web link is http://www.thincs.org/index.htm
(pre-approved by moderator1).
Take a look at some of the discussions and articles on this site - some of the articles present information you will NEVER hear from any of the medical experts who have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry (which includes most of the researchers who have conducted the 'big' statin-studies to date...).
There are a lot of interesting articles in the LINKS tab under "About Cholesterol and it's Lowering" that casts doubt on the idea that low cholesterol is beneficial to overall health... At least the articles will make you think and present you with information you won't get from the mainstream medical establishment... For example, has your doctor ever told you that statins and fibrates have been shown to cause cancer in a number of studies? Has he/she told you that overall death rates for those on statins tend to be the same or slightly higher than those not taking statins (because although deaths from CHD are lowered, deaths from Cancers and other causes rise)? Has he/she discussed some of the more common statin side-effects with you (muscle aches, weakness, loss of memory, lowered cognitive function...)?
I for one believe that the current cholesterol guidelines put 'target' cholesterol levels into the potential danger zone. I'm also doubting whether cholesterol level is as tightly related to CHD as I've been told over the years, or whether it is low-level chronic inflamation (indicated by such markers as CRP and homocysteine) that leads to CHD. I'm also beginning to think there's something to Dr. Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath MD's theory that chronic vitamin-c deficiency is one of the root causes of cardiovascular disease...)..
I also don't believe that statins reduce CHD by lowering cholesterol levels, but rather by their anti-inflammatory properties (and you can fight inflammation with vitamin B1, B2, B6, Omega-3s, Folic Acid and low-dose buffered aspirin for a lot less money and with less side effects than with statins).
Browse the above site if you want to hear the other-side of the cholesterol/statin debate...
Before you are scared into taking medications, or have a heart-attack from worrying about your 'high' cholesterol level... get some info to balance the picture a bit more...