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Some HDL, or 'good' cholesterol, may not protect against heart disease
Date:5/7/2012

tudy were examined, along with blood samples collected from 1993 to 1995 from 18,225 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. During 10 to 14 years of follow-up, 634 cases of coronary heart disease were documented and matched with controls for age, smoking, and date of blood drawing.

The researchers compared plasma concentrations of total HDL, HDL that has apoC-III, and HDL without apoC-III as predictors of the risk of CHD.

After adjusting for age, smoking status and other dietary and lifestyle cardiovascular risk factors, the researchers found that two different subclasses of HDL have opposite associations with the risk of CHD in apparently healthy men and women. The major HDL type, which lacks apoC-III, had the expected heart-protective association with CHD. But the small fraction (13%) of HDL cholesterol that has apoC-III present on its surface was paradoxically associated with a higher, not lower, risk of future CHD. Those men and women who had HDL apoC-III in the highest 20% of the population had a 60% increased risk of CHD.

The results suggest that measuring HDL apoC-III and HDL without apoC-III rather than the simpler measure of total HDL may be a better gauge of heart disease risk (or of HDL's protective capacity). "Reduction in HDL-apoC-III by diet or drug treatments may become an indicator of efficacy," said Jensen.


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Contact: Todd Datz
tdatz@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-8413
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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