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The Single Most Important Risk Factor For CVD Death (by 96%)

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

These people have a shocking 96% higher chance of dying from CVD, according to a recent study.

Cholesterol levels are commonly used to determine a person’s lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease, with those with the highest HDL cholesterol levels having the lowest risk. However, the findings of a new study reveal the complicated relationships between “good” cholesterol and heart disease.

Cholesterol is delivered in the bloodstream by two protein kinds known as “bad” and “good” cholesterol. The latter, medically known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL), is essential for biological function to run smoothly. It absorbs toxic chemicals and transports them to the liver, where they are excreted. This has been suggested to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in the past. According to new research, having too much “good” cholesterol can increase your chance of dying from heart disease by 96 percent.

A recent study of over 10,000 patients with coronary artery disease revealed that those with high HDL cholesterol levels – greater than 80 mg/dL – had a 96 percent increased risk of “all-cause” mortality.

The results also showed that people with HDL cholesterol levels between 40 and 60 mg/dL had a 71 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease.

The findings, which were published in JAMA Cardiology, call into question the commonly held belief that HDL cholesterol protects against cardiovascular death.

HDL cholesterol has long been thought to be inversely related to the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to scientists.

However, the latest findings cast doubt on the efficacy of medicines aimed at raising “good” cholesterol levels.

“Very high HDL levels are associated with increased risk of adverse outcomes, not lower risk, as previously thought,” noted senior author Arshed A. Quyyumi, professor of medicine, Division of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine.

“This is just not only in the general population but also in people with known coronary artery disease.”

“Physicians have to be cognisant of the fact that, at levels of HDL-C above 80 mg/dL, they should be more aggressive with risk reduction and not believe that the patients are at ‘low risk’ because of high levels of good cholesterol.”

The ability of HDL cholesterol to mop up toxic compounds in the bloodstream has been judged advantageous.

LDL gets a bad name because it sticks to the inner lining of the arterial walls and makes plaque build up.

The blood vessels narrow as the plaque hardens, and blood flow to the vital organs is hampered.

Plaque can eventually break free from the wall and produce blockages, which can lead to a heart attack.

Doctors have been looking for new strategies to assist patients increase their HDL cholesterol levels for a long time.

According to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having high levels of HDL cholesterol reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

However, findings from early studies reveal that the content of HDL cholesterol can vary.

According to prior research from the University of California, Los Angeles, HDL cholesterol with more apolipoprotein may be less effective at removing LDL lipids from blood arteries.

For their investigation, scientists genetically modified mice so that their bodies would create more HDL cholesterol.

The genetically modified mice developed more atherosclerosis than normal mice, despite having higher levels of the helpful chemical.

The term “atherosclerosis” refers to a condition in which the arteries become clogged with cholesterol-filled plaque.

While the benefits of HDL cholesterol are still being debated, preventative actions are still recommended for the general public who want to reduce their risk of heart disease.

A well-balanced diet and regular exercise can both help to prevent the condition.

Source: 10.1001/jamacardio.2022.0924

Image Credit: Getty

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