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Cholesterol guidelines not low enough

“Healthy” levels of cholesterol may still cause harm according to a new study. Researchers found the risk of heart disease in people with “normal” levels of cholesterol was reduced when they took cholesterol lowering medication.

The study has shown that national guidelines for cholesterol may not be low enough.

The cholesterol study

Researchers studied 18,000 people in 26 countries. All had good cholesterol levels, with average LDL or “bad” cholesterol at levels of 108, and average HDL or “good” cholesterol at levels of 49.

However, each participant had high levels of “high-sensitivity C-reactive protein” or hs-CRP, a marker that indicates inflammation in the body and can contribute to coronary heart disease.

Under the current guidelines for lowering cholesterol, none of the participants would have qualified for taking statins. The participants took 20 milligrams of the drug Crestor or a placebo pill.


The study results

Researchers found that participants taking Crestor reduced their risk of heart attack, stroke and death by 44% compared with participants taking the placebo.

LDL cholesterol levels were reduced by 50% and hs-CRP levels dropped 37%. Overall death in the Crestor group was 20% less than the placebo group.

Note: The maker of Crestor, AstraZeneca, funded the study.


Related articles

Statins can help reduce the risk of memory loss.

Cholesterol lowering drugs have been shown to reduce high blood pressure.

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One Response to “Cholesterol guidelines not low enough”

  1. John S says:

    Compare with an unbiased review of the literature.

    http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/96/12/927?ijkey=172mwKXqzgmtE&keytype=ref

    It is absurd to think that the cholesterol guidelines are not low enough….unless of course you are in the business of selling cholesterol lowering drugs.

    From a technical view it is very hard to dismiss Dr. Ravnskov’s very thorough review of the data in the literature. It in fact appears that cholesterol is protective against infections and heart disease at least in people over 65 and the facts disclosed by Ravnskov are pretty much indisputable. The theory that high cholesterol is a “cause” of heart disease in people under 65 is very suspect at the best and down right wrong from a reasonable point of view.

    Ravnskov also discusses the fate of those with familial hypercholesterolemia.

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