Ask a Texas Heart Institute Doctor
Informed patients make better patients.
Do high cholesterol levels increase my chances for heart disease?
Cholesterol 253, triglycerides 317, dhdl 36, ldl cal 154. On simvastatin for over a year, these are a little better than a year ago. At this level are the chances of ischemic heart disease higher? Or do I already have it? Stress test showed heart within normal limits.
submitted by Walter from Indiana on 12/14/2012
by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Michael J. Mihalick, MD
Dear Walter: Your elevated LDL is the most pressing issue. I suggest you ask your doctor to switch you to a stronger statin such as lipitor (80 mg) which is now generic. Alternatively, you could take Crestor, (not available in a generic form) probably at a starting dose of 20 mg which could be increased if you are not at goal (LDL <100 or, if you have evidence of arteriosclerosis, as low as possible). This may require a maximum dose of 40 mg daily. Other commonly prescribed drugs such as the fenofibrate family, niacin, and other lipid lowering drugs may increase the risk of a serious side effect known as rhabdomyolysis which is fortunately quite rare. The intensity of the treatment depends on your individual risk of heart disease and stroke and needs to be discussed with your cardiologist.
See also on this site:
Has your question or a similar one already been answered?Search
all the Heart Doctor questions and answers.
To search for a doctor or access St. Luke's physician referral service, use the "Find a Doctor" link at the top of this page.
Updated December 2012