Low-quality HDL cholesterol may not be cardioprotective

High levels of the 'good' cholesterol HDL may not protect against heart disease, say US researchers.

Instead, they warn that HDL cholesterol can vary in quality and that poor-quality HDL could do more harm than good.

The researchers carried out a meta-analysis of almost 100 published studies on the structure of HDL cholesterol.

They found that HDL from patients with chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes differed from that in healthy patients, even when blood levels of HDL were comparable.

While high-quality HDL was found to cut inflammation, the poor-quality HDL in chronic disease patients did not. The protective functions of HDL cholesterol are lost because of changes to its protein and lipid components, researchers said.

Lead researcher Dr Angelo Scanu, from the University of Chicago, said: 'For many years, HDL has been viewed as good cholesterol and has generated a false perception that the more HDL in the blood, the better.'

People with high HDL are not always protected against heart problems, he added.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

  • FASEB J 2008; 22: 4,044-54.

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Rebuild GP campaign logo

Hundreds of GPs sign open letter highlighting 'decades of neglect' of general practice

Hundreds of GPs have signed an open letter to patients warning that 'decades of neglect'...

Dr Farah Jameel

PCNs are 'existential threat' to GP independent contractor model, BMA warns

The BMA's England GP committee has warned that PCNs pose an 'existential threat'...

Houses of Parliament

GP partnerships 'like collapsing Jenga stack' after Javid threat to nationalise practices

Sajid Javid's decision to back a report calling for the end of the GMS contract within...

£20 notes spread out

VAT trap for PCNs could strip millions of pounds from general practice

Tens of millions of pounds could be stripped from general practice because work carried...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Is the BMA representing GPs effectively, why GPs face a pension tax hit, and views on the workload crisis

In our regular news review the team discusses representation of GPs, a new survey...

Man sleeping

NICE guidance on insomnia backs app to replace sleeping pills

Hundreds of thousands of people with insomnia could be offered treatment via a mobile...