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Cholesterol/Triglycerides numbers: any risks here...should I be taking Lipitor?
Jan 21, 2004

Dear Dr. Moyle,

Can you please help me interpret my Lab cholesterol results and risks of heart attack or stroke?

My total cholesterol is 214 (lab reference range being <200), my HDL cholesterol is 54 (ref range being >/=40), Cholesterol/HDL ratio is 4.1, LDL/Chol Calculated is 139 (ref range <130) and triglycerides are 106 (ref range being <150).

I would appreciate your helping me understand whether any of these numbers are risky.... I have a very good diet and walk quite a bit.

Should I be on cholesterol lowering/improving medication like Lipitor at the above levels? Are there any side effects of Cholesterol numbers that are out of the reference range?

Many thanks.

Response from Dr. Moyle

Your results are pretty good and certainly would not prompt intervention unless you already have heart disease or diabetes or have a very stromng family history and smoke. You total cholesterol is marginally high but this is made up of a good amount of protective HDL giving a ratio better than the target of 5. Triglycerides are normal. You could look at you diet and exercise program to keep fit and have a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and omega-3 fats (canola oil, oily fish). A glass of wine each day can also help further raise HDL. If you smoke, tyr to stop. I hope this helps you relax, something that is also good for your heart! regards Graeme Moyle

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