Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: High Blood Pressure | cholesterol | high | treatment | statins

Is My Cholesterol Too High?

By    |   Friday, 31 Jan 2014 09:55 AM

Question: My total cholesterol and LDL are very high (total is 400), but my HDL is also higher than normal (above 90). I hardly ever eat fatty food, and my weight is normal (5-foot-4, and 131 pounds). I know statins can damage the liver. What are your thoughts about it?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Without knowing your triglyceride value, your cardiac risk cannot be accurately assessed here. Normally, LDL (the "bad" cholesterol that is the principal contributor to plaque build-up) under 100 is desirable, even levels of up to 130 are "normal." HDL (the "good" cholesterol that cleans up and binds the bad cholesterol) over 60 is desirable, and the higher the HDL the more protection you have.
 
Your high HDL is probably a good thing, but it must be interpreted with your other risk factors, such as triglycerides. Your weight seems appropriate for your height, but I have no information on your other habits such as smoking, family history of stroke or heart attack, or the presence of other diseases known to adversely affect your risk such as diabetes or hypertension.
 
If you have these other factors assessed and statins are recommended, I would not worry about the rare possibility the newer-generation statins pose a problem. Follow the advice of your physician.
 
Treating cholesterol with statins is usually beneficial and not harmful to the liver, with only very rare exceptions. In addition, stains have an anti-inflammatory effect known to stabilize existing plaque and will reduce the incidence of recurrent heart attack and stroke in patients at risk when used properly under competent physician supervision. The Food and Drug Administration has less concern about statin use today and has relaxed the frequency of liver testing once advised with statins over the last 10 years.

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Cholesterol levels involve many factors, including HDL, LDL, and triglycerides.
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2014-55-31
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