Friday, October 31, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2008 Mrs BonnieAnn M Stevens, Community Member, asks

Q: Why a 90% blockage in main artery when cholesterol scores are low? What transpires?

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Answers (1)
Martin Cane, M.D., Health Pro
5/29/08 11:50am

Mrs BonnieAnn M Stevens,


Sorry that you're having heart difficulties.  When it comes to coronary artery disease, cholesterol levels are just one of the risk factors that influence the formation of blockages.  Other risk factors are smoking, increasing age, heredity (genetic factors), tobacco use, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, and obesity.  Associated risk factors include stress and alcohol use, but these have not been clearly defined as how they increase risk. 


Also, you didn't mention what your other lipid levels were.  Doctors are now directing more attention to the LDL ("Bad Cholesterol) and HDL ("Good Cholesterol), and using ratios of the different types of cholesterol to help calculate risk.  The LDL and HDL have to be taken into consideration when looking at the lipid picture, not just the cholesterol. 


But to answer the question directly, a person can have heart disease with normal cholesterol levels.  Don't be surprised if your doctor prescribes a cholesterol medication after your problem is corrected.  Studies have shown that these medications can help prevent recurrence of disease.


I hope this information has been helpful. 


Martin Cane, M.D.

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By Mrs BonnieAnn M Stevens, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/15/12, First Published: 05/19/08