Gransnet forums

Statins?

(54 Posts)
mamapat Sat 12-Jan-19 18:44:45

I have been on tablets for high blood pressure for 20+ years and at a recent Check up was told my blood pressure was very high.Was checked 2 weeks later and the same,so am booked at the clinic for heart test/BP again and if still high to wear a moniter at home.My blood was also checked and app I have high cholestorol (think she said 4.5) and suggested I should give some thought as to taking statins.I have read up on statins and to be honest not keen on the idea.Has anybody else taken/is taking them? or opinions please.

B9exchange Sat 12-Jan-19 19:19:37

It is a problem because so much of the statin research is funded by the pharmaceutical companies that make them. I wouldn't touch them unless I had actual heart disease or high risk of stroke.

I'm afraid you will have to do your own research, there is plenty out there. And many differing points of view, eg

healthimpactnews.com/2015/statin-drug-scandal-cholesterol-lowering-drug-researchers-start-back-tracking/

www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/statins-dangers-cholesterol-heart-attack/2018/02/26/id/845489/

www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/behind-the-headlines/cholesterol-and-statins

and

www.axappphealthcare.co.uk/health-information/heart/statin-pills-do-the-benefits-outweigh-the-risks/

www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/medical/drug-cabinet/statins

You can check out your own risk of developing heart disease on the QRisk website, which is the one that GPs use to advise you. Visit www.qrisk.org/three/ perhaps start from there?

Sparklefizz Sat 12-Jan-19 19:27:17

4.5 isn't high cholesterol, and I wouldn't touch statins myself. Perhaps read "The Great Cholesterol Con" by Dr Malcolm McKendrick.

M0nica Sat 12-Jan-19 19:42:30

mamapat this knee jerk reaction to prescribe statins is the current band wagon drug. Before that it was antibiotics. Antibiotics are essential and life saving in their place, but doctors, believing they were the answer to everything began prescribing them for every known ill from a bruised knees to viral infections and this has led to dangerous infections becoming antibiotic resistant and the existence of serious illnesses that antibiotics can no longer treat. Doctors are now very they are very cautious about when they prescribe antibiotics.

I think the same is happening to statins. Yes, there is serious case for them where people have had hear attacks or are susceptible to heart problems, but whether they are the miracle drug that will resolve all heart problems if only people would take them I very much doubt.

My blood cholesterol is around 7.5. And I was very willing to take them to bring my count to the approved 5.0. However, warned by a post on Gransnet, I asked my GP how much reducing my cholesterol to 5.0, the approved score would reduce the risk of me having a heart attack, stroke etc.

She calculated that not taking statins, my chances of having a stroke etc in the next 10 years was 17.5, pretty low considering I am 75 and average female life expectancy is around 83. If I took statins it would fall to 14.8.

In other words taking statins would reduce my life expectancy by less than 3% and, even if I do have a heart attack/stroke, how is anyone going to prove it was one of the three caused by my high cholestrol, rather than the 15 I still remain liable to statins or no statins.

So ask your GP to work out the probability of you having heart attacks/strokes if you take statins and if you don't. Then study the figures to see how much difference taking them will have on your chances of heart attacks etc against not taking them and then make your decision

My GP was quite taken aback when she realised how little difference taking statins would have on my chances of heart attacks etc.

cornergran Sat 12-Jan-19 21:20:15

Mr C had exactly the same conversation with his GP who agreed statins weren’t necessary. As M0nica says, see a GP and ask some questions.

Patsy70 Sat 12-Jan-19 21:26:43

'High cholesterol' can be controlled by diet, easily. Absolutely no need to take medication for this, which can have adverse affects.

CocoPops Sat 12-Jan-19 21:29:15

mamapat, Here is a link to the Framingham Table where you can calculate your risk. You need to enter your age, sex, total cholesterol, HDL result and blood pressure.
www.mdcalc.com/framingham-coronary-heart-disease-risk-score

Luckygirl Sat 12-Jan-19 21:44:44

My cholesterol is now 4.5 due to statins - it was much higher before. I am very happy with this result and 4.5 is not a high result. I have no obvious risk factors for high cholesterol, so the assumption is that it must be hereditary. I eat no red meat, hate milk and mainly live on poultry, fish and vegetables - this has been the case for about 40 years. I am not overweight. I started on a high dose then halved it.

Jalima1108 Sat 12-Jan-19 21:54:26

4.5 sounds perfect.

NanTheWiser Sat 12-Jan-19 22:45:20

This is worth reading (sorry, it's a U.S. Article) on why older women shouldn't be on statins - drhyman.com/blog/2012/01/19/why-women-should-stop-their-cholesterol-lowering-medication/

paddyann Sat 12-Jan-19 23:01:09

My OH had horrible side effects fromm statins.he had two heart attacks in quick succession so we thought statins were inevitable.After just a few months on them he was so ill I decided to research alternatives.
I came across Ubuquinol a form of co enzyme Q10 and he's been taking that...with his GP's approval for over 6 years now and his cholesterol levels are fine.No side effects either.There is also Red Yeast Rice supplements in capsule form that are supposed to give great results .Run it past your GP .

EllanVannin Sat 12-Jan-19 23:01:30

I've taken statins for nearly 13 years and have also been " pre-type 2 " for the same length of time ( not a full-blown type 2 ) just impaired caused by high BP many years ago which led to me having AFib.
Statins are life-savers bringing down my cholesterol from 7.9 to the steady 4 that it's been for years and I eat loads of Lurpak on my crumpets in a morning.
As you get older your arteries aren't as efficient as they used to be so statins help to keep them from clogging. I also take warfarin to keep the blood flowing------which it does because I haven't experienced any " palpitations " for a while now which also indicates that the statins are doing their job by keeping the arteries clear so that the blood can flow through them without any problems.

MissAdventure Sat 12-Jan-19 23:05:53

I was put on statins a good few years ago.
When I had a blood test, I was called in urgently to speak to the doctor, and he asked me to tell him truthfully about my drink consumption.
I'm teetotal, absolutely hate drink, but he didn't believe me, asking if I was perhaps a binge drinker, as my liver was not functioning properly since the last time he had seen me.
The only thing which had changed was me being on statins, so I stopped taking them.
I have no idea what was going on, but I was NOT going to have a liver biopsy, as was suggested.
Shortly after that my doc dropped dead from a heart attack, so that was the end of that.. I hope.

CocoPops Sat 12-Jan-19 23:06:16

B9exchange Thanks very much for the interesting links.
MOnica I too have resisted statins. My risk is calculated at 13.2% over 10 years.
My reasoning in not taking a statin is because although my cholesterol is considered to be above the normal range, I don't have a family history of stroke or heart attack , don't smoke and weight and blood pressure are good.
I am not convinced of the "benefits" either.

dragonfly46 Sat 12-Jan-19 23:14:42

My cholesterol is 6.5 but the doctor is not worried as she said it was good cholesterol!

travelsafar Sun 13-Jan-19 06:27:53

I don't understand the two types of cholesterol, mine is 4.5 but which is which i have no idea, must ask gp next time at the surgery to explain.

mumofmadboys Sun 13-Jan-19 07:16:03

Patsy 70. Your statement that cholesterol can be solely controlled by diet is wrong. A large contribution to cholesterol metabolism is genetic.

NanKate Sun 13-Jan-19 07:33:48

I have taken statins for a number of years and my count went from 7.9 to 5.2 so I am satisfied with that.

petra Sun 13-Jan-19 07:50:43

mumofmadboys
Exactly what my Dr says.
You know something is wrong when a Consultant Cardiologist tells your friend ( I was in his office with her) to keep off them!!!

M0nica Sun 13-Jan-19 08:54:57

It is not a question of whether your cholesterol goes down if you take statins, it is whether getting it down will have any effect on the probability of you having heart attacks and strokes, which is what the purpose of taking it is.

That is the question I asked my GP and she was very disconcerted to find that, in my case, even if I did take statins and reduce my cholesterol, it would actually reduce my probability of having a heart attack or stroke very little.

I cannot see any point in taking a medication that, while changing my body chemistry, will have little or no effect on my health outcomes.

Iam64 Sun 13-Jan-19 09:13:03

I'm in a high risk category because of inflammatory auto immune conditions, AF and kidney stuff. My cholesterol was 5.7 and my GP persuaded me to take statins. The cholesterol dropped to 4 but within several months I felt dreadful, head like cotton wool, all major muscle groups painful and I just didn't feel myself. I stopped taking the statins and feel much better
Two cardiologists have told me there is no evidence that for a woman in my age group, who has not had a heart attack or stroke, taking statins lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Both said they wouldn't prescribe them for me.

Anja Sun 13-Jan-19 09:21:46

It’s not the actual number of your cholesterol levels that’s important but the ratio of LDL to HDL surely?

BlueSky Sun 13-Jan-19 09:30:11

My cholesterol is also 6.5 but I've been told it's good cholesterol. This despite me being on a life long low fat/sugar/salt diet! So I guess in my case too is hereditary as is my high bp/border line sugar!

henetha Sun 13-Jan-19 10:26:28

I resisted statins for years due to adverse publicity. But when my cholesterol remained stubbornly above 6.5 for ages I then decided to give in. This was about 2 years ago. Now my cholesterol is 3.2 and I have had no side effects of any sort. However, I still don't feel entirely happy about taking them. But as I recently had a mini-stroke I think I need them...possibly.
I just had a thought.... I still had a mini-stroke in spite of being on statins.... Oh dear.....

EllanVannin Sun 13-Jan-19 11:14:26

Henetha, I too had a mini-stroke ( TIA ) of which I hadn't been aware of until a CT scan for dizziness showed slight damage. I'd been taking both statins and warfarin for years, but I still say that without either medications it could have been a lot worse, especially for my age.

My stroke probably happened in 2017 as I was only told about it in March last year.
I'd be scared to come off statins now.