STATES CHRONICLE – We have always thought that good cholesterol, or HDL, is actually good for the health. However, new research suggests having high levels of HDL in blood might lead to a higher risk of death than those people with normal levels.
Extremely high good cholesterol rates associated with higher mortality
For the research, published in the European Heart Journal, scientists from the University of Copenhagen collected data from 116,000 people who were part of the Copenhagen General Population Study and the Copenhagen City Heart Study. Also, researchers collected information regarding mortality from the city officials.
The study lasted for 6 years, during which 10,500 deaths occurred. After looking at medical data collected from the participants, they could assess the risks and the mortality rate among these people. This is how they found out that men with extremely high levels of good cholesterol had a higher mortality rate by 106 percent.
The rate was also higher for men with high levels of HDL, namely 36 percent. Women with extremely high levels of good cholesterol were also in danger, as their mortality rate was 68 percent higher. However, having extremely low HDL levels in the blood was not good either.
Is good cholesterol also dangerous?
The only group which wasn’t in danger was the one composed of people with normal levels of good cholesterol. They had the smallest mortality rate compared to all the other groups. These normal levels translate as 1.9 mmol/L for men, and 2.4 mmol/L for women.
Other studies have also found links between excessive levels of HDL cholesterol and high mortality, but only in specific groups of people. This is the first study which finds a general higher risk in a more general segment of the population.
Unfortunately, the study made only statistical observations and correlations. Therefore, it didn’t offer an answer to why good cholesterol isn’t actually good. This completely changes the way we used to think about HDL, and is a warning for doctors to stop regarding extremely high good cholesterol levels as healthy.
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