According to a new study, cholesterol may not be as good of a predictor of heart disease risk as previously thought. The study, which was published in the journal PLOS One, looked at nearly 200,000 people in the UK Biobank and found that while high levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL) were associated with a lower risk of heart disease, this was not the case for everyone. In fact, the researchers found that in people with diabetes, high HDL levels actually predicted a higher risk of heart disease.
This study challenges the long-held belief that HDL is a universal marker of heart disease risk. The new findings suggest that in some cases, other factors, such as diabetes, may play a more important role in predicting heart disease risk.The findings from this study highlight the need for more research on the role of cholesterol in heart disease risk.
New research has challenged the accepted view that high levels of ‘good’ cholesterol are always linked with a reduced risk of heart disease.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at over 1,600 people with an average age of 60. All of the participants had their ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) levels measured, along with other traditional risk factors for heart disease such as age, gender, smoking status, blood pressure and diabetes.
The findings showed that, in people with no other risk factors for heart disease, higher HDL levels were not linked with a reduced risk of heart disease. In fact, in this group, the risk of heart disease actually increased as HDL levels rose.
These findings challenge the current thinking on HDL cholesterol and suggest that it may not be the ‘universal’ predictor of heart disease risk that we thought it was. The study’s authors say that more research is needed to better understand the role of HDL in heart disease.
The findings of this study add to the growing body of evidence that suggests we need to rethink our approach to cholesterol and heart disease. This study reinforces the importance of considering all of the available evidence when making decisions about our health.