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LDL/HDL
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LDL/HDL

I am a 42 yr old mail with hypertension (under control), frequent PACs, and I recently had an attack of atrial fibrillation (converted overnight in the hospital with meds).  I take 10 mg. of Zestril once a day, and 80 mg. of Betapace twice a day.  A little over a year ago, I had my cholesterol tested and the total was 258 (HDL of 35).  Since then I have been on a low saturated fat diet that includes a large daily bowl of oatmeal with "Take Control" spread on it.  I had another fasting cholesterol test last week, and the results were:
Total: 158
LDL: 113
HDL: 26!!

I know that an HDL of 26 is not good and that I need to try to raise it, but in light of the total reduction in cholesterol, am I in better shape than I was a year ago, or does the low HDL still put me at a high risk for coronary artery disease?

Thank You,
Geoff
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Dear Geoff,
Congratulations on the dramatic drop in your cholesterol!  You have significantly lowered your risk for developing coronary artery blockages.  Your HDL is low but was not that great even at the much higher total/LDL cholesterol level.  This is the next are to work on.  With your doctor's direction you can begin an exercise progam and should also consider taking a half a glass of red wine a day if you currently drink alcohol. If these steps fail to raise your HDL your doctor may want to start you on Niacin.
4 Comments
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Hi Geoff:

I think a low HDL is a risk for coronary artery disease but the doc will give you a better answer on that. I wanted to congratulate you on your cholesterol and LDL reduction. WOW. That is great, just from diet?  I tried for two years and my results were insignificant. I started lipitor in September and I hope it works better than it has so far.

Chris S.
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Avatar_n_tn
Geoff, I'm curious as to what your triglycerides are? Usually if your HDL is low, your tri's are too high because its based on a calculation using the two numbers. My husband has the same problem- normal cholesterol, normal LDL, high triglycerides, and low HDL. It seems from all the stuff we have read, the only way to  lower the tri's(which should raise the HDL) is exercise and losing weight. Are you overweight? My hubby wil be getting his rechecked in a few months-he has already lost 15lbs and now exercises everyday for at least an hour. My mom also had the same problem though not overweight she lost a few lbs and increased her exercise to everyday instead of 3 times a week. Hers came in normal after retesting. I'm curious to see what my husbands will be when he gets retested. Terry
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Geoff,
Congrats, You have done great on your low C Diet.  I am 41 and have been on low fat, Low C diet for years, I now take lipitor to keep it under control.  For some people (like me)it seem like hereditary plays a big role in one's numbers.  The diet thing did not work for me.  But like you I have a LOW HDL Mid 20's to mid 30's.  I have tracked my numbers for 15 years and they do not vary much as far as HDL.  This is one of the hardest numbers to change.  Exercise is one of the most important aspects to raise HDL.  My Triglycerides have been very high also.  Short and simple triglycerides are fat.  Just reach down and pinch the so called inch and your are grabbing your triglycerides.  I had a Triglyceride number of 390 and within 4 months took off 20lbs and dropped that number to 200.  Carbohydrates are the main culpert here, Sweets, pastries etc.  This has always been my big downfall but once you reduce the Carb intake the cravings will slow dramatically.  One other note on your low LDL #, my cardiologist wants me to keep my LDL below 100 to offset the low HDL.  I hope this info helps for I have  had this problem for years and have done massive research and tried several approaches to correct it.  If you have any questions feel free to contact me.
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