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frankad
@frankad

Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 24, 2016

Statin alternatives for coronary artery blockage

Posted by @frankad, Aug 24, 2016

I had a catheter ablation procedure in Jan 2016 for A-fib and am currently doing fine and am off of metoprolol and eliquis. Based on a CAT scan of Nov 2015 which found some blockage in my coronary artery, my cardiologist recommends I take a statin medication, thought my cholesterol, HDL/LDL, triglycerides, and platelet counts all seem to be in the good to low range, and I exercise regularly. I’ve read much about taking statins for high cholesterol, but not much about taking statins for coronary artery blockage, or of what help statins might be for that condition. I’m resistant at this point to taking a statin medication having read or heard about the side effects. I would appreciate any feedback you might have to offer, and what supplements might be of benefit.

REPLY

Hi @frankad. Welcome to Mayo Connect. I’m tending to a-fib, but haven’t had treatment of any kind (except Coumadin). My MRI and ultrasound recorded some “precipitate” in my aorta that appeared to involve some cholesterol and some calcium deposits. Even so, neither my primary physician nor my cardiologist suggested a statin after viewing the imaging.

I had been on statins for a few years for a general cholesterol problem, but brought that under control with diet and life style changes. I dropped the statins altogether last year because of pains in the muscles I used most and because of mental inefficiencies I detected (as suggested by several NIH-funded research projects). lf I were you, I’d cast around for a second opinion about the use of statins in your apparently positive situation; perhaps your cardiologist would suggest a peer who would give you a fair appraisal of your situation. Either way, you might feel more confident of a third opinion from a cardiologist not associated with yours. Sounds like a lot of trouble and expense, but in my view, what’s at stake is beyond routine and can justify the added expense.

Hi @frankad. I add my welcome to @predictable‘s. You’ll notice that I embellished the title of this discussion to be specific to statins and coronary artery blockage distinguish it from the other discussions about statins:

– Supplements vs statins – which is more effective? http://mayocl.in/2bGBuR6
– Want to control my cholesterol and triglycerides with food http://mayocl.in/2bfEmXR

I think @thankful might be a good addition to this conversation.

according to the guidelines in germany/europe a statin therapy is a MUST in your case, if there are deposits/plaques in the coronary arteries. the aim of the treatment is a LDL-value beneath 100, if possible beneath 70.,on condition that you can tolerate the medication. it is quite interesting to read,that you were allowed to stop the oral anticoagulation (and the metropolol) after the ablation. as I already wrote in this forum, I had a mitralvalve repair, together with a surgical ablation around the pulmonal veins. yesterday I visited my cardiologist for a check (4 months after the operation).mitral valve function is excellent, so far I had no A-Fib. I had a discussion with him about my suggestion to stop the Xarelto treatment. He didn’t like the idea. his advice is to continue , because the recurrence rate of A-Fib is high and I may not notice it, for example during the night. moreover I remain a “high-risk” patient because of my age (70) and I am a woman. of course I can decide to stop Xarelto, , but this a very difficult decision. you didn’t mention your age .if you are young, maybe there is a different opinion.
(by the way, I take also a statin,although my arteries are completely free, even the coronary arteries).

Thank you so much for your reply and feedback on the use of statins. I turned 69 this past June, six months after my ablation procedure. My electrophysiologist, in New York, where I had the procedure kept me on eliquis for six months following the procedure but I was allowed to stop taking the metoprolol immediately after the procedure. I asked to be allowed to stop taking the anticoagulation drug in June during my follow up visit and was approved. The physician did not offer a counter argument so I felt safe in doing so. I’m averse to taking any kind of medication as I’ve been healthy most of my life, and I worry about side effects. My new cardiologist here in Las Vegas, where I live now has recommended that I take statins, but I worry about the side effects and the impact it will have on my physical abilities to exercise and enjoy life at my current level. The metoprolol slowed me down tremendously when I tried to exercise and I don’t want to go back to that. Also, I’ve not been given a complete picture of exactly how much blockage, or how many arteries are affected by blockage. I’m told that I would need to have an Angioplasty procedure to determine exactly how much blockage there is. So why did I have to have a CAT scan taken with all of the radiation one is exposed to? I have a bit of a communication problem with my new cardiologist here in Las Vegas, which makes me even more hesitant to do everything that he recommends. I do appreciate your feedback very much, and am still in the process of trying to decide what to do. Please forward any new information you might come across to me as I appreciate all the advice I can get at this point. Life is not without risk, but I don’t want to make a fatal mistake either. Thanks again.

@predictable

Hi @frankad. Welcome to Mayo Connect. I’m tending to a-fib, but haven’t had treatment of any kind (except Coumadin). My MRI and ultrasound recorded some “precipitate” in my aorta that appeared to involve some cholesterol and some calcium deposits. Even so, neither my primary physician nor my cardiologist suggested a statin after viewing the imaging.

I had been on statins for a few years for a general cholesterol problem, but brought that under control with diet and life style changes. I dropped the statins altogether last year because of pains in the muscles I used most and because of mental inefficiencies I detected (as suggested by several NIH-funded research projects). lf I were you, I’d cast around for a second opinion about the use of statins in your apparently positive situation; perhaps your cardiologist would suggest a peer who would give you a fair appraisal of your situation. Either way, you might feel more confident of a third opinion from a cardiologist not associated with yours. Sounds like a lot of trouble and expense, but in my view, what’s at stake is beyond routine and can justify the added expense.

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Thank you for your feedback to my statins vs supplements dilemma. At my age of 69, I too worry about any cognitive impairment that statins might create. And since I like to push myself into the high intensity range of physical activity now and then, I don’t want to suffer from decreased muscle output at this point in life. I may seek a second or third opinion from other sources. I currently take krill oil and other supplements which I hope will help to reduce the risk of an adverse event in the long run. Since you mentioned it, I’m now curious whether an MRI and/or and ultrasound might have been acceptable alternatives to the CAT scan which I objected to last November. I was told not by the new cardiologist that ordered the test. Again, thanks for the feedback.

@colleenyoung

Hi @frankad. I add my welcome to @predictable‘s. You’ll notice that I embellished the title of this discussion to be specific to statins and coronary artery blockage distinguish it from the other discussions about statins:

– Supplements vs statins – which is more effective? http://mayocl.in/2bGBuR6
– Want to control my cholesterol and triglycerides with food http://mayocl.in/2bfEmXR

I think @thankful might be a good addition to this conversation.

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Thank you for your kind greetings, and thanks for the links to other sources of information to my query about statins vs supplements.
Sincerely, Frank

Liked by user_ch0966e61

@frankad

Thank you so much for your reply and feedback on the use of statins. I turned 69 this past June, six months after my ablation procedure. My electrophysiologist, in New York, where I had the procedure kept me on eliquis for six months following the procedure but I was allowed to stop taking the metoprolol immediately after the procedure. I asked to be allowed to stop taking the anticoagulation drug in June during my follow up visit and was approved. The physician did not offer a counter argument so I felt safe in doing so. I’m averse to taking any kind of medication as I’ve been healthy most of my life, and I worry about side effects. My new cardiologist here in Las Vegas, where I live now has recommended that I take statins, but I worry about the side effects and the impact it will have on my physical abilities to exercise and enjoy life at my current level. The metoprolol slowed me down tremendously when I tried to exercise and I don’t want to go back to that. Also, I’ve not been given a complete picture of exactly how much blockage, or how many arteries are affected by blockage. I’m told that I would need to have an Angioplasty procedure to determine exactly how much blockage there is. So why did I have to have a CAT scan taken with all of the radiation one is exposed to? I have a bit of a communication problem with my new cardiologist here in Las Vegas, which makes me even more hesitant to do everything that he recommends. I do appreciate your feedback very much, and am still in the process of trying to decide what to do. Please forward any new information you might come across to me as I appreciate all the advice I can get at this point. Life is not without risk, but I don’t want to make a fatal mistake either. Thanks again.

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@frankad, I am following up with an article from the National Library of Medicine on questions about CT and MRI imaging of coronary arteries — not to provide conclusive answers, but to raise the questions that you may wish to put to your cardiologist (or another cardiologist if you pursue a second opinion). The article is available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3259311/.

It was interesting to me because of my choices this year. Since January, I have had 3 MRIs — one ordered by a cardiologist, one by a nephrologist, and one by a urologist. All three specialists understood my reluctance to endure the radiation of CT scans. However, my cardiologist mentioned that a CT scan might still be needed to get better images of my functioning heart.

One other thought tonight: I have not sensed that any of the issues about my a-fib, my bladder cancer, or my kidney tumor held a threat to my life — or that the imaging in each case would hasten the end for me in my 81st year (beginning next month). Like you, I insist on getting all of the facts and expert opinions — good news or bad — and that has armed me with confidence in my doctors (or their successors) and in my own ability to manage my medical situation.

Best wishes for a comprehensive picture of your coronary arteries and a lot more sleep after you get it.

@yoanne

according to the guidelines in germany/europe a statin therapy is a MUST in your case, if there are deposits/plaques in the coronary arteries. the aim of the treatment is a LDL-value beneath 100, if possible beneath 70.,on condition that you can tolerate the medication. it is quite interesting to read,that you were allowed to stop the oral anticoagulation (and the metropolol) after the ablation. as I already wrote in this forum, I had a mitralvalve repair, together with a surgical ablation around the pulmonal veins. yesterday I visited my cardiologist for a check (4 months after the operation).mitral valve function is excellent, so far I had no A-Fib. I had a discussion with him about my suggestion to stop the Xarelto treatment. He didn’t like the idea. his advice is to continue , because the recurrence rate of A-Fib is high and I may not notice it, for example during the night. moreover I remain a “high-risk” patient because of my age (70) and I am a woman. of course I can decide to stop Xarelto, , but this a very difficult decision. you didn’t mention your age .if you are young, maybe there is a different opinion.
(by the way, I take also a statin,although my arteries are completely free, even the coronary arteries).

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Yoanne: I’d like to follow your progress, I too have a Mitral Valve that is leaking. I also have AFib and we haven’t decided just the right course of action. Tried a Cardio Version but it didn’t work. I’m clear off of Prednisone now and have less heart pounding. Thank you for sharing.

Thanks again for the information. I’ll follow up on the web site you provided to try to get more information about statins vs supplements. I’ve read about niacin in the past also but haven’t looked into that too deeply. I thank you for your encouragement.

@colleenyoung

Hi @frankad. I add my welcome to @predictable‘s. You’ll notice that I embellished the title of this discussion to be specific to statins and coronary artery blockage distinguish it from the other discussions about statins:

– Supplements vs statins – which is more effective? http://mayocl.in/2bGBuR6
– Want to control my cholesterol and triglycerides with food http://mayocl.in/2bfEmXR

I think @thankful might be a good addition to this conversation.

Jump to this post

Hi I live in Australia. Many people have been given lipador (think that
is how you spell it) for cholestoral or after having stints implanted. Two
of my friends died from taking it before we found out what it does to you.
It doesn’t seem to affect everyone, but if you feel your muscles starting
to loose control stop taking lipador. It is really negligent of these
people placing the statins on the market without more testing.

@frankad

Thank you so much for your reply and feedback on the use of statins. I turned 69 this past June, six months after my ablation procedure. My electrophysiologist, in New York, where I had the procedure kept me on eliquis for six months following the procedure but I was allowed to stop taking the metoprolol immediately after the procedure. I asked to be allowed to stop taking the anticoagulation drug in June during my follow up visit and was approved. The physician did not offer a counter argument so I felt safe in doing so. I’m averse to taking any kind of medication as I’ve been healthy most of my life, and I worry about side effects. My new cardiologist here in Las Vegas, where I live now has recommended that I take statins, but I worry about the side effects and the impact it will have on my physical abilities to exercise and enjoy life at my current level. The metoprolol slowed me down tremendously when I tried to exercise and I don’t want to go back to that. Also, I’ve not been given a complete picture of exactly how much blockage, or how many arteries are affected by blockage. I’m told that I would need to have an Angioplasty procedure to determine exactly how much blockage there is. So why did I have to have a CAT scan taken with all of the radiation one is exposed to? I have a bit of a communication problem with my new cardiologist here in Las Vegas, which makes me even more hesitant to do everything that he recommends. I do appreciate your feedback very much, and am still in the process of trying to decide what to do. Please forward any new information you might come across to me as I appreciate all the advice I can get at this point. Life is not without risk, but I don’t want to make a fatal mistake either. Thanks again.

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your last sentence is very important. as to me, i’ am in the same situation, shall I go on with the oral anticoagulation (Xarelto) and have a risk for internal bleeding (mostly gastrointestinal), or shall I stop? several cardiologists said to me, why do you bother? you are with Xarelto on the safe side.you can travel everywhere, A-Fibs can’t cause a cerebral thrombosis anymore.that was one of the reason,why I decided to have a mitralvalve repair (my A-Fibs started after a deterioration of the mitral regurgitation,from stage I to II).the underlying disease was a mitral valve prolaps.I thought ,wenn the repair and the ablation are successful, and the heart function goes back to normal, there is no need for medication like b-blocking agents and oral anticoagulation anymore.but doctors don’t care about the high prices, they simply don’t want to be blamed, if the patient suffers from a stroke.
As to statins, as I wrote, I have been taking statins (simvastatin 20 mg) for a long time. nearly all my family members have a high cholesterol level and take statins. I’m lucky,as my cholesterol level is only slightly increased and my HDL is high (unusual).a medication with statins was not really necessary, but my younger sister had a heart attack,wenn she was 52 and got two stents in her coronary arteries.so in my case it is a profylactic administration.and I will continue it. I have no problems, no muscle aching for example. my younger brother needs 40 mg simvastatin and he goes jogging. to avoid any muscle problems he skips the statin every sunday.(he is a biochemist).
I shouldn’t worry about possible side effects.niacin was used a long time ago, the introduction of the statins changed everything.
I think that eating habits are very important, especially which oil you use. I never use butter or margarine, for baking olive oil. we are lucky, as we can buy olive oil directly from the producer in greece. there is no possibility for the owner to manipulate the oil, as we stand beside..

@yoanne

according to the guidelines in germany/europe a statin therapy is a MUST in your case, if there are deposits/plaques in the coronary arteries. the aim of the treatment is a LDL-value beneath 100, if possible beneath 70.,on condition that you can tolerate the medication. it is quite interesting to read,that you were allowed to stop the oral anticoagulation (and the metropolol) after the ablation. as I already wrote in this forum, I had a mitralvalve repair, together with a surgical ablation around the pulmonal veins. yesterday I visited my cardiologist for a check (4 months after the operation).mitral valve function is excellent, so far I had no A-Fib. I had a discussion with him about my suggestion to stop the Xarelto treatment. He didn’t like the idea. his advice is to continue , because the recurrence rate of A-Fib is high and I may not notice it, for example during the night. moreover I remain a “high-risk” patient because of my age (70) and I am a woman. of course I can decide to stop Xarelto, , but this a very difficult decision. you didn’t mention your age .if you are young, maybe there is a different opinion.
(by the way, I take also a statin,although my arteries are completely free, even the coronary arteries).

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to be able to answer your question, I need to know, if you are suffering from a mitral valve prolapse, which causes a degenerative or primary mitral regurgitation (not identical with a functional or secundaire mitral regurgitation)

@frankad

Thank you so much for your reply and feedback on the use of statins. I turned 69 this past June, six months after my ablation procedure. My electrophysiologist, in New York, where I had the procedure kept me on eliquis for six months following the procedure but I was allowed to stop taking the metoprolol immediately after the procedure. I asked to be allowed to stop taking the anticoagulation drug in June during my follow up visit and was approved. The physician did not offer a counter argument so I felt safe in doing so. I’m averse to taking any kind of medication as I’ve been healthy most of my life, and I worry about side effects. My new cardiologist here in Las Vegas, where I live now has recommended that I take statins, but I worry about the side effects and the impact it will have on my physical abilities to exercise and enjoy life at my current level. The metoprolol slowed me down tremendously when I tried to exercise and I don’t want to go back to that. Also, I’ve not been given a complete picture of exactly how much blockage, or how many arteries are affected by blockage. I’m told that I would need to have an Angioplasty procedure to determine exactly how much blockage there is. So why did I have to have a CAT scan taken with all of the radiation one is exposed to? I have a bit of a communication problem with my new cardiologist here in Las Vegas, which makes me even more hesitant to do everything that he recommends. I do appreciate your feedback very much, and am still in the process of trying to decide what to do. Please forward any new information you might come across to me as I appreciate all the advice I can get at this point. Life is not without risk, but I don’t want to make a fatal mistake either. Thanks again.

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@yoanne, your analysis and the information you have collected make it clear that you’re a whiz at managing your own medical condition, and your use of multiple cardiologists at one time or another shows that you are double-checking what you are told by medical professionals. Kudos to you!

As to Xarelto versus Coumadin, note that emergency rooms stock a Coumadin antidote (vitamin K solution) that cancels the anticoagulation effect of Coumadin in 10-20 minutes. An antidote for Xarelto is in development, but isn’t yet ready for distribution beyond its research laboratory. My cardiologists recommended and prescribed Coumadin to ensure immediate availability of an antidote. However, I don’t have a gastro problem like yours, which could bring different advice from my medical team.

As to statins, am I correct in assuming that you are taking a relatively low dose once a day? If so, you are not likely to notice any recent forgetfulness or clumsiness which a statin may provoke. That was a problem for me, so my primary physician looked at my diet and exercise regimen and suggested that it is good enough — in light of good lab results — to warrant dropping the statin medication.

@yoanne

according to the guidelines in germany/europe a statin therapy is a MUST in your case, if there are deposits/plaques in the coronary arteries. the aim of the treatment is a LDL-value beneath 100, if possible beneath 70.,on condition that you can tolerate the medication. it is quite interesting to read,that you were allowed to stop the oral anticoagulation (and the metropolol) after the ablation. as I already wrote in this forum, I had a mitralvalve repair, together with a surgical ablation around the pulmonal veins. yesterday I visited my cardiologist for a check (4 months after the operation).mitral valve function is excellent, so far I had no A-Fib. I had a discussion with him about my suggestion to stop the Xarelto treatment. He didn’t like the idea. his advice is to continue , because the recurrence rate of A-Fib is high and I may not notice it, for example during the night. moreover I remain a “high-risk” patient because of my age (70) and I am a woman. of course I can decide to stop Xarelto, , but this a very difficult decision. you didn’t mention your age .if you are young, maybe there is a different opinion.
(by the way, I take also a statin,although my arteries are completely free, even the coronary arteries).

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please, read my post of today, August 28 /mitral valve repair. it might help you!

@frankad

Thank you so much for your reply and feedback on the use of statins. I turned 69 this past June, six months after my ablation procedure. My electrophysiologist, in New York, where I had the procedure kept me on eliquis for six months following the procedure but I was allowed to stop taking the metoprolol immediately after the procedure. I asked to be allowed to stop taking the anticoagulation drug in June during my follow up visit and was approved. The physician did not offer a counter argument so I felt safe in doing so. I’m averse to taking any kind of medication as I’ve been healthy most of my life, and I worry about side effects. My new cardiologist here in Las Vegas, where I live now has recommended that I take statins, but I worry about the side effects and the impact it will have on my physical abilities to exercise and enjoy life at my current level. The metoprolol slowed me down tremendously when I tried to exercise and I don’t want to go back to that. Also, I’ve not been given a complete picture of exactly how much blockage, or how many arteries are affected by blockage. I’m told that I would need to have an Angioplasty procedure to determine exactly how much blockage there is. So why did I have to have a CAT scan taken with all of the radiation one is exposed to? I have a bit of a communication problem with my new cardiologist here in Las Vegas, which makes me even more hesitant to do everything that he recommends. I do appreciate your feedback very much, and am still in the process of trying to decide what to do. Please forward any new information you might come across to me as I appreciate all the advice I can get at this point. Life is not without risk, but I don’t want to make a fatal mistake either. Thanks again.

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Hi predictable,

Actually, I’ve not started taking any statins at this point. My cardio guy here in Las Vegas is not happy with me about that, but I don’t believe that doctor’s look at individual cases as compared to the large statistical profiles that they’re informed about. Thanks again for the comeback. Also, I’m getting a little confused about recognizing exactly who’s talking to me as there seem to be multiple conversations going on at this site, so please send any comments to, Frankad, so that I’m sure it’s me that’s being addressed. Thanks

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