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Lowering LDL better for reducing heart risk

By PressTV | 19 May 2012

New evidence questions the idea that increasing the blood level of HDL also known as good cholesterol may protect against heart disease.

A new analysis of 20 prior studies revealed that people with a genetic condition that causes high HDL (high density lipoprotein) have the same heart-attack risk as the general population, wrote scientists in the journal The Lancet.

The review study which looked at nearly 12,500 people with a history of a heart attack and over 41,000 otherwise healthy counterparts found that raising HDL may not be as effective at preventing heart disease as originally thought.

“These results show that some ways of raising HDL cholesterol might not reduce risk of myocardial infarction [heart attack] in human beings,” said lead author Sekar Kathiresan of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

“Therefore, if an intervention such as a drug raises HDL cholesterol, we cannot automatically assume that risk of myocardial infarction will be reduced.”

The study suggest the association found earlier between HDL and lower heart risk may come from more subtle lifestyle factors tied to higher HDL levels.

The researchers recommend doctors and patients to focus on lowering total cholesterol level and the level of LDL (low density lipoprotein) also known as bad cholesterol instead of boosting HDL level to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.



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