(Reuters Health) - Despite plenty of evidence that people with low levels of "good" cholesterol are more prone to heart attacks, a large new study suggests that the lacking lipid is not to blame.
The analysis of data on nearly 70,000 people in Denmark affirmed the link between low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the so-called "good" cholesterol, and raised heart attack risk in the general population. But in people with a gene mutation that lowers HDL, heart attack risk was not found to be higher at all.
"Association itself doesn't mean causality," said lead author Dr. Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, a consultant in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.
The results, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, indicate that just having low HDL is not what raises the likelihood of a heart attack.
"People with low 'good' cholesterol also have a whole bunch of other factors that relate to heart disease," said Dr. Christopher Cannon, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and editor of the American College of Cardiology's website.
Friday, December 02, 2011
Low HDL doesn't cause heart attacks | Reuters