Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

'Good' Cholesterol Not So Good

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

'Good' Cholesterol Not So Good

Article excerpt

A new genetics study has taken some of the shine off "good" cholesterol's halo. Merely raising levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) might not protect against heart attacks.

These findings may come as a shock because of the large volume of studies that have claimed the opposite, namely that people with high levels of HDL cholesterol have a lower-than-average risk of having a heart attack. These new results suggest that blood levels of good (HDL) cholesterol might indicate other biological processes and that HDL cholesterol itself is not directly related to heart health.

Doctors commonly measure two kinds of cholesterol in the blood to identify the risk level of heart attacks. Consistent data show that people with high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) are prone to a higher-than-average risk of having a heart attack. Those studies have also been backed by evidence from drug companies showing that that the incidence of heart attacks is lower when LDL levels are lower. Yet few clinical trials have shown that HDL cholesterol performs well.

On May 7, 2012, the pharmaceutical company Roche announced that it was stopping the development of dalcetrapib because of a lack of efficacy. …

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