Raising 'Good Cholesterol' Might Not Help

It doesn't seem to cut heart risks in major new study
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2012 6:42 PM CDT
Raising 'Good Cholesterol' Might Not Help
A new study has doctors questioning the strategy of trying to raise levels of 'good cholesterol.'   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you've been diligently working to raise your levels of "good cholesterol" to maintain a healthy heart, a study in the Lancet has some sobering news: You might be wasting your time. It's true that high levels of the cholesterol, called HDL, are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. But the study calls into question that all-important principle of "causal effect"—HDL itself may not be a cause of the lower risk, just a reflection of it, explains the New York Times.

story continues below

“I’d say the HDL hypothesis is on the ropes right now,” a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center tells the Times. The study could have a huge impact on the pharmaceutical industry, which is busy testing drugs designed to raise HDL. As for the so-called bad cholesterol, or LDL: The study makes clear that it's still good practice to lower LDL through drugs or lifestyle changes, notes the Daily Mail. (Read more HDL stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.