KatieS wrote:WhatNext, I am your same age, small body frame, high HDL, 3/4, previous widow...but I am on a very minimal dose of simvastatin. Despite a zero calcium scan at age 64, my lp(a) is double normal and have two other cardiac risk factors (hypertension and sleep apnea). Unexpectedly, I experienced side effects to the water soluble statins (rosuvastatin & pravastatin). Plus, my 101 y/o, 3/4, double normal lp(a) mom has been on simvastatin 10mg for decades and still living at home with assistance. The decision to go on statins incorporates all the risk factors and if possible, other family member's experiences.
Hi Katie! Thanks for your input--it's good to hear from someone taking a statin. Your mom is another great example. My own mother, not so much. When she came to live with me she was on 40mg of Crestor. I took her to my GP and to his credit, he lowered it to 20. On 20mg her LDL was similar to mine. I moved her down to Florida with me (I was there for 3 years; it was a job-related move) and her doctor in Florida wasn't satisfied: he doubled the dose and her LDL dropped to 112. That wasn't good enough for him--in spite of her being 92 years old he was determined to get it under 100. He changed her to Lipitor and her stamina and energy tanked. She could barely take two steps without having to stop and rest. I started giving her CoQ10 but it didn't help. She was supposed to go back to the doctor for more blood work after 3 months but she didn't live that long. She didn't die of heart failure: her digestive system shut down secondary to the flu (in spite of having had a flu shot, which I was told "missed the strain").
Lp(a) doesn't seem to be included in any of my test results. When I've ordered and paid for tests myself I've ordered the "extreme heart health" panel but in spite of including a ton of stuff I can't find Lp(a) or HbA1c in the results.
My blood pressure is okay--the last time my doctor took it it was 120/70 and he said it was "perfect for a grandma". I'd told him my first grandchild is due in August.
(He has 6 grandkids and one great-grandkid.) In spite of my family history--my father's anyway--I don't have genetic risk factors for coronary artery calcification or disease. I didn't inherit my father's worst genes. He had what my brother says was "malignant high blood pressure". It was controlled by medication his whole life. He went off it once for a while and when his optomologist took his bp during a routine eye exam it was 260/180. He was hospitalized immediately and told he was a "dead man walking". His father, all of his father's brothers (4 of them) and his father's father died at the age of 49 or 50.
I've decided to ask my doctor for a prescription for a calcium scan. My father's medical history should be an adequate justification. If it turns out I do have calcium in my arteries I'll take a statin but I'll ask for a minimal dose. Your response makes me feel better about this decision--thank you!!