New findings suggest very high levels of HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) may actually be harmful.
Researchers investigated the relationship between HDL-C levels and adverse cardiovascular (CV) outcomes in 5,965 individuals in an at-risk population. Individuals were stratified by HDL-C categories (
The authors identified a U-shaped association between HDL-C and CV mortality/non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) and all-cause mortality. Participants with HDL-C levels greater than 60 mg/dl (1.5 mmol/L) had a nearly 50 per cent increased risk of dying from a cardiovascular cause or having an MI compared to those with HDL cholesterol levels 41-60 mg/dl.
Commenting on the findings, study author Dr Marc Allard-Ratick of Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, US, said: “It may be time to change the way we view HDL cholesterol. Traditionally, physicians have told their patients that the higher your ‘good’ cholesterol, the better. However, the results from this study and others suggest that this may no longer be the case.”
Dr Allard-Ratick concluded: “One thing is certain: the mantra of HDL cholesterol as the ‘good’ cholesterol may no longer be the case for everyone.”
The findings were presented at the recent European Society of Cardiology Congress.