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Pikel 10-03-2012 02:53 PM

Understanding my dads blood test results.
Hi, I am new here, so please excuse me if I'm doing anything wrong. Basically, Im in need of some insights from people who really know their way around Cholesterol test results.

I am asking on m dads behalf. He is 65 years old and very fit and energetic. He is very slim from daily workouts on a rowing machine, lifting weights and loads and loads of biking. He eats in a very health conscious fashion and has very good physical health. He suffers from no ailments at all and is on no medication what-so-ever.

On turning 65 he was told he could get a free heart health test from the local chemists. They do the usual and test for diabetes and cholesterol etc.

The reading cam back as high and he was referred to the hospital to get another more precise test. On getting the results back, he was told he needed to go on Statins to bring his cholesterol down. His results are as follows:

Serum cholesterol 6.79 mmol/L (122.22 mg/dl)
Serum triglycerides 1.61 mmol?L (28.98 mg/dl)
Serum HDL cholesterol level 1.27 mmol/L (22.86 mg/dl)
Total cholesterol: HDL ratio 5.3
Calculated LDL cholesterol level 4.79 mmol/L (86.22 mg/dl)

The doctor said it was because his LDL cholesterol was too high, so he needed statins to bring them back down.

From doing loads of research online, it seems that the recommended LDL range for a person with no heart problems is below 100, which it is. So how can his LDL be high? Furthermore, on his results from the NHS test, it says:

Calculated LDL cholesterol level 4.79 mmol/L (86.22 mg/dl) with a desired range of between 0.00-3.00 mmol/L (0-54 mg/dl). From what I have read everywhere, this range is only possible if you are on Statins? Everywhere else states with their ranges, that his LDL levels are not too high, as they are below 100 mg/dl. If anything, its just that his HDL is a little low?

I feel like they are trying to put him on Statins by making him look as though he has high cholesterol by using smaller ranges for the LDL than I have seen anywhere in all the research Ive done online.

Whats going on? Are they trying to put him on Statins with no cause to? or am I mimsunderstanding something. My dad is soooo healthy.

Any information or insight would be appreciated. Sorry for writing a novel.

rudiraven 10-04-2012 01:17 PM

Re: Understanding my dads blood test results.
Our conversion calculations differ.

6.79=262.5 Total Cholesterol

1.69=149.7 Trigylcerides

1.27=49 HDL

4.79=185 LDL

All together not horrible, but could use some tweaking. He needs to raise his HDL (eat healthy fats like lean cuts of meat, avocados, nuts, etc.) Lower his tryglcerides by cutting down on carbs. and lower LDL by using olive oil, garlic, whole grains, etc.

You might suggest that your dad ask his doctor to allow him to try and bring it down with diet. He also might want to do some research before starting any statin drugs. Not everyone can safely take them and they can cause muscle and neuropathy problems. He sounds like a healthy man so I wouldn't worry. Best to both of you. :)

Pikel 10-04-2012 02:42 PM

Re: Understanding my dads blood test results.
hmm thats weird. I just used a mmol/L to mg/dl conversion calculator thing. Did I work them out wrong?

Anyway, I really appreciate the response. But you agree right? tweakin seems more suitable than wacking him straight on statins? They're not that bad?

The doc never mentioned his HDL. He just said that his LDL was too high, but would you say by looking at it that if he increased his HDL intake the additional HDL should slowly remove the LDL?

As far as I gather from reading up on statins, they just suppress production of LDL. But wouldnt the far healthier suggestion by a doctor be to increase good cholesterol instead of taking meds with loads of side effects and horror stories to stop the LDL?

He's really freaked out and scared to eat. He quit smoking 9 months ago. He quit drinking 6 months ago. He went on a very very low cholesterol diet. How likely is it that his cutting out ALL high cholesterol foods did this, because he didnt realise that high 'good' cholesterol foods would be beneficial?

This whole business is new to me and Im finding it all quite complicated. Im slowly getting my head around it. Its just a shame that the doctor scared my dad by only mentioning 'high cholesterol' and not mentioning its more likely a lack of good cholesterol.

He's in no immediate danger though is he? He's kinda scared to exercise incase he induces a heart attack. This is mostly because not even the doctor seems to know anything other than reading out the total serum cholesterol.

rudiraven 10-05-2012 08:28 AM

Re: Understanding my dads blood test results.
I don't think your dad is in any danger of having a heart attack because his cholesterol is a little high. Exercise is one of the best things he can do, so encourage him to continue. There are differing opinions on the effects of cholesterol on heart related diseases. I encourage you and your dad to do some research before he decides whether he wants to take statins. Studies show that just as many people have heart attacks with low/normal cholesterol as those with high cholesterol. Some doctors over prescribe, IMHO, and immediately want patients to go on some sort of drug when tweaking one's diet and exercise regimen will do the trick. Cholesterol is not a bad thing. Our bodies need it in order to function properly. Tell your dad to stop stressing (you too :)) and become proactive about researching pros and cons on the cholesterol debate. I wish you both well.

Pikel 10-06-2012 03:49 AM

Re: Understanding my dads blood test results.
Yeah cheers. Im not actually stressing my self, its more a case of stressing because he's panicking. Ive dont a lot of research on both cholesterol and statins, and we would both do anything to avoid statins. But you know how it is with a certain generation of parents, they believe that if they dont do what the doctors tell them, the doctor will never help them again.

Thank you so much for your reassurance. He is back to exercising again and eating more foods with high HDL to try and increase the levels whilst lowering his LDL. I think the only thing thats been wrong is the attitude of the doctors. They told him it was hereditary without any more than just that one blood test. They said he needed to start stating with urgency and it scared the living daylights out of him.

Thank you so much for your support and advice. It was the course I/we were going to take anyway, but its nice to have someone a little more in the know to say that they felt its only a matter of dietary tweaking.

Big love from us both. I hope all is good for you in the future also. You are a kind person to have given your time to help me. x

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