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Do I need a cholesterol-lowering drug based on my lipid profile results?

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Posted on Wed, 22 Aug 2018
Question: My Mother is 65 years old. Other than chronic acidity, she has no other problems. We had recently done routine check up for her which included tests for thyroid, diabetes, ECG, 2D echo for heart, etc. All tests are normal except her cholesterol. Her lipid profile results are as follows:
total cholesterol : 211
triglyceride : 121
HDL: 52
non HDL :159
LDL: 142
V LDL : 17
LDL chol - HDL chol ratio 2.7.

Our family doctor has recommended her to start taking medicines for Cholesterol. Does she need to take Cholesterol medicines considering her age and blood report. If she starts the medicine, does it have to be taken life-long or can we repeat blood test after few weeks and stop the medicine based on the results. Also, what are the side effects of the medicine.
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Answered by Dr. Sagar Makode (14 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Yes, it's better to start.

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

Yes, her cholesterol is elevated and bad cholesterol LDL is also significantly elevated. There are both the options, first to control the diet and regular exercises but only these things less likely to control it totally in this age group. So it's better to start her on medicine. She can have the one which you are prescribed or tab Rosuvastatin. The threshold of ours to start this medicine is low due to its multiple beneficial effects other than just lipid control. So I think there is no harm in starting it.

Next, it usually has to be taken lifelong as one it is stopped cholesterol will again rise unless some significant changes are made in lifestyle like low fat, oily diet and regular exercises which will keep cholesterol under control without medicine. So if you are not willing to continue, repeat lipid profile after 8 weeks of controlled then stop the medicine, and continue to have healthy lifestyle, and again repeat after 8 weeks to look for control.

Side effects are not common and not serious. One can get muscle pains and body pains, muscle injuries etc. which are usually non life threatening. So it's a relatively safe drug and very commonly used. So I think there is no excessive need to worry about side effects. So overall, I think should be started and should be continued.

Hope this helps you and get back if you have any other doubts.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Sagar Makode (44 hours later)
Thanks for your detailed response.

Can you please advise on a vegetarian diet - what needs to be avoided to reduce Cholesterol - milk, ghee, etc.

and also on exercise regime which may help to keep Cholesterol in check without medicine.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sagar Makode (34 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
See the description.

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

In diet, she should avoid high calorie food like sweets, oil, ghee, fried foods, so all the foods which contains oil. Dry fruits are allowed in moderate quantities. She should have plenty of water, green leafy vegetables. In general, dinner should be light. Low salt diet.

In exercises, at this age brisk walking, or jogging if possible according to her capacity at least 30 min a day and 5 days a week is enough for her.

All the best.

Take care.

Dr. Sagar Makode, Cardiologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Sagar Makode

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2013

Answered : 1854 Questions

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Do I need a cholesterol-lowering drug based on my lipid profile results?

Brief Answer: Yes, it's better to start. Detailed Answer: Hello, I have reviewed your query and here is my advice. Yes, her cholesterol is elevated and bad cholesterol LDL is also significantly elevated. There are both the options, first to control the diet and regular exercises but only these things less likely to control it totally in this age group. So it's better to start her on medicine. She can have the one which you are prescribed or tab Rosuvastatin. The threshold of ours to start this medicine is low due to its multiple beneficial effects other than just lipid control. So I think there is no harm in starting it. Next, it usually has to be taken lifelong as one it is stopped cholesterol will again rise unless some significant changes are made in lifestyle like low fat, oily diet and regular exercises which will keep cholesterol under control without medicine. So if you are not willing to continue, repeat lipid profile after 8 weeks of controlled then stop the medicine, and continue to have healthy lifestyle, and again repeat after 8 weeks to look for control. Side effects are not common and not serious. One can get muscle pains and body pains, muscle injuries etc. which are usually non life threatening. So it's a relatively safe drug and very commonly used. So I think there is no excessive need to worry about side effects. So overall, I think should be started and should be continued. Hope this helps you and get back if you have any other doubts. Regards.