What is your cholesterol reading?
The medical world now has millions of patients paranoid about the answer.
“Mine is 4.1. What is yours? 5.2 Gosh! You should see my doctor. He’s wonderful”.
Millions of patients take statins the wonder drug.
There is however regular press comment on concerns about the side effects of this medicine and in the last week it has been reported that certain statins may cause muscle problems and kidney damage.
EB owners and managers are under so much pressure that it is possible they neglect their health care. If they see their doctor and the recommendation (following a blood test) is the taking of statins they may not have time to take the action I took last year.
I applied for revised life cover and passed the various tests. However the Life Company said that my doctor had reported that some years ago I had recorded high cholesterol and they wanted to take a blood sample. This was done one Sunday morning at my home.
However I decided that I did not like the thought that the Life Company knew my results and I did not. So I went to my private doctor in London who took a blood sample and a few days later told me I had slightly raised cholesterol. He said I should go and see my own GP who would prescribe a statin.
“Do I need to take statins?” I asked (the luxury of seeing a private doctor).
We then entered into a dialogue on statins and the doctor said the only sure way of knowing the answer to my question was to have a heart scan. He told me to look at the website of the European Scanning Centre in Harley Street.
I visited the Centre, had a chat with a receptionist, and booked an appointment.
On the day of the examination I experienced a remarkable process. The care was terrific. A doctor completed the scanning (about twenty minutes in a cylinder type machine) and then, after an hour’s wait, I had a meeting with a consultant.
He handed me a four page report giving results, sections of my heart, photographs of the heart and recommendations.
The report read:
“Using a GE-Imatron C-300 EBT scanner, a high resolution, non-contrast limited scan was performed on the chest with special emphasis on the heart. Coronary artery scanning and three-dimensional Agatston and Volumetric scoring was done according to a standardised protocol.”
“The total calcium score (0.00) is below the 25th percentile for men between the ages of 60 and 64. Exact percentile calculated to be 0%: this means 0% of the population has lower calcium score and 99% of the population has a higher calcium score”.
In other words I do not have any cholesterol (calcium) in my arteries and yes, I know, I am a very, very lucky person. I don’t need statins.
So here is a vote winner Dave and SamCam.
Why not offer self employed members of EB grants to allow them to have private heart checks.
It will never happen but what a thought!
The cost? I paid £525 for the whole process and my visit to the private doctor was £60.