Health, Zoomer Report

HDL Cholesterol

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For years we’ve been told that it is best to have a high level of so-called “good” cholesterol – HDL cholesterol and a low-level of the bad kind – LDL . Now a large Canadian study is questioning that conclusion.

The study of nearly 632,000 adults, did find that those with the lowest HDL levels had higher death rates from heart disease and stroke over five years. But They also had higher death rates from cancer and other causes.

And there was no evidence that very high HDL levels — above 90 — were desirable. On the contrary.

People with HDL that high were more likely to die of noncardiovascular causes, compared to those with HDL levels in the middle.

The lead researcher says The fact that low HDL was linked to higher death rates from all causes suggests it’s a generic marker of factors like a less healthy lifestyle. No one is saying that doctors and patients should ignore it. Causes of low HDL include, smoking, poor diet being overweight or sedentary. But the researchers say it’s probably those factors — not the HDL level itself — that really matter.

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