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

Advance decisions to refuse treatment - what GPs need to know

Advance decisions to refuse treatment - what GPs need to know

A recent case has underlined the need for GPs to communicate a patient’s known wishes...

Law changed to allow physios and paramedics to administer vaccines during pandemic

Law changed to allow physios and paramedics to administer vaccines during pandemic

A wider range of healthcare workers will be allowed to administer flu and potential...

Medicines shortages drive up GP workload as prescribing costs surge £158m

Medicines shortages drive up GP workload as prescribing costs surge £158m

Medicines shortages in England are continuing to drive up GP workload during the...

Arrhythmias - red flag symptoms

Arrhythmias - red flag symptoms

Dr Pipin Singh provides an overview of red flag symptoms in patients with arrhythmias.

How have GP practices fared under CQC inspections?

How have GP practices fared under CQC inspections?

The latest annual report from the CQC sets out ratings for all of the sectors it...

CQC flags concern over GP access despite 2m face-to-face appointments last week

CQC flags concern over GP access despite 2m face-to-face appointments last week

The CQC plans to 'follow up' concerns about access to face-to-face GP services, warning...