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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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my brother have a high cholesterol level of 202, how to get rid of it

My sister in law doesn't want to give my brother (whom can't see) meds to control his cholesterol ? It is 202 and the doctor said he didn t want it over 130 ? She says she doesn t want to give him pills during the night and that Soui Wrestlers all have high cholesterol levels and they are okay. What do you think ? Yes, he had a stroke this last year.
Thu, 17 Dec 2009
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  User's Response
Sounds like a real difficult issue to confront for certain. The number of "202" is referring to his LDL (low-density lypoprotein) level, and not a "Total Cholesterol" number. We rarely even bother with the "total" number since we have the ability to fractionate the cholesterol into 3 main groups: Triglycerides, HDL, and LDL (of most importance). If he's had a stroke, then his target level should be actually less than 100 on his LDL. Not to mention, NOT giving him medication, and adjusting his dietary intake, put him at SIGNIFICANT risk for another event; even a heart attack. There is a LOT of unsupported conjecture and bias about the use of these medications in the media and internet. Sounds like your sister-in-law has bought into these silly anecdotes, rather than reading through the many studies that demonstrate safety and reduction of risks when taken as prescribed. In a nutshell, your brother NEEDS these medications to be safe. I prescribe meds (statins) to lower cholesterol levels on a daily basis. Why? Because they work! As far as side effects in patients, I've only had to either discontinue medications or change to another in less than a handful of patients out of the literally thousands that I treat. Thus, the risks are little compared to the outcomes of NOT treating high cholesterol. I also tell my patients that if they change their eating habits, improve their cardio-vascular health/exercise, and the numbers go down past where I need them to be, then I will either try to lower the dose, or eliminate it altogether. A statement like "Soui Wrestlers all have high cholesterol levels and they are okay" is nonsense. Now, if she can say that they all have LOW LDL levels, but HIGH HDL (healthy chol) levels, then that may be a different story. However, I truly doubt that is the case. Simply put, I think your S-I-L has bought into the media frenzy that captivates many people into thinking these medications are ALL unsafe and will cause side effects. Think about it...if he's already had a stroke...then he's not exactly "okay." Right? Best of luck to you and your brother.
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