|Can Elevated Cholesterol be Beneficial?|
|Wednesday, 27 September 2006|
They're perplexed, flat out stumped. Total cholesterol (TC), the knee jerk bad guy for heart disease, isn't all bad. What are they going to do?
Patients with heart failure and higher total cholesterol had a greater survival rate, as reported in the September 2006 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology. Researchers evaluated TC levels and survival in 1,646 patients with heart failure. These subjects were drawn from the Intermountain Collaborative Study Registry, a 10-year database covering the years from 1993-2003. TC levels were divided into quartiles, with quartile 1 having TC levels of 140 mg/dl and below, quartile 2 had TC levels of 141-167 md/dl, quartile 3 had TC levels between 168-200 mg/dl, and those in quartile 4 had the highest TC levels, greater than 200 mg/dl. The mean age of the patients was 65.5 years, 65% were men and 65% had coronary artery disease (blocked coronary arteries). Those patients in quartile 3 had a 34% decreased risk of death versus those in quartile 1. In other words, heart failure patients with higher cholesterol did better than those with lower total cholesterol. Further, those patients in quartile 1, with the lowest levels of cholesterol, had the highest level of inflammation. Inflammation is recognized as a significant marker for cardiac risk. Patients in quartile 3 had the lowest levels of inflammation of the 4 groups.
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