A systematic review of studies of the link between blood cholesterol and heart disease among the over 60s was published by the British Medical Journal in 2014. If found no link.
The quality of the data was not always gold standard but enough to say that while the two often go together they may not be causally related.
You can control bad blood lipids with exercise and diet which are worth doing in their own right. And statins, the drug commonly used to control bad blood lipids, don’t to my knowledge have major risks so they probably won’t harm you.
If you are concerned, discuss the matter with your doctor or dietician.
If a doctor prescribes cholesterol lowering medication then you should heed that advice. For some, cholesterol remains high despite diet changes and exercises.
High cholesterol is not only associated with a stroke risk or contribute to heart disease.
Studies suggest that high cholesterol can contribute to a reduction in brain health. Recent studies suggest a link between high LDL and low HDL and conditions such as dementia and Alzheimers disease. People with alzheimers are found to have amyloid plaques on the brain. Amyloid plaques appear to be associated with cholesterol, which is why scientists are exploring the correlation between high cholesterol and brain health.
Diet helps. There are limits apparently. I could relate similar experiences. Some of us may have been blessed with a genetic code that causes our bodies to produce more cholesterol than we need to be healthy. I used to believe diet alone was enough. In the past changes in diet did improve the blood test results. But now not enough to rebalance the HDL and LDL. Even those on a plant based diet can have health issues.
Thanks, mark_m, for the vegans article - interesting reading. Am not a vegan, but diet is biased towards more vegetables and fruit. I do take vit D and my vit D level is good. My HDL is above limit (currently 1.5, should be above 1.2), but my LDL is way above limit (currently 4.2, should be below 3.0). I know statins will lower my LDL, but I can’t cope well with its side effects.
I found that a Combined Mg + Ca + Vit D supplement helped a lot. I found for me that it needed to be a decent strength but no more than 600mg Ca at any one time as it is best adsorbed in small dosages of 600mg or less. If taking other medications then the timing of when the supplement is taken is very important, as Ca in particular can alter uptake of medications,e.g., thyroid meds require at least 1 hour between taking the medication and then calcium (in any form including as milk). 4 hours is probably the safest gap between taking thyroid meds and then calcium supplements. Of note is that some high cholesterol treating drugs will increase the amount of Ca lost in urine and so Ca levels may need supplementation, low Ca may cause muscle pain/cramping (the long muscles, e.g.legs and arms are often affected) and the cramps may be erroneously blamed on other causes
@grahroll - thanks for the articles. I do take Mg daily, and Ca from time to time. I should take Ca daily, now that I am back on statins, to reduce the muscle pains / cramps - particularly at night, which prevent a good sleep and rest.