Navigation Links
High HDL Levels Protect Heart Health
Date:9/26/2007

Reduced risk of cardiovascular trouble even when LDL levels were low, study finds

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of "good" HDL cholesterol protect against heart disease and stroke no matter what the blood levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol are, a new study shows.

The incidence of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems was 40 percent lower in the one-fifth of participants in a major trial who had the highest HDL cholesterol levels, regardless of their LDL cholesterol levels, according to a report in the Sept. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The protective effect of high HDL readings was evident even in patients with an LDL reading below 70, well under the recommended level for heart health.

"The fundamental important message of the paper is that if you take HDL high enough, LDL doesn't matter," said study author Dr. Philip Barter, director of the Heart Research Institute in Sydney, Australia.

LDL cholesterol is involved in the formation of fatty plaques that eventually can block an artery; HDL cholesterol prevents the formation of those plaque.

"What we desperately need is a new drug to raise HDL levels," Barter said.

No such drug is in sight, however. Pfizer halted a 15,000-participant trial of an HDL-raising drug, torcetrapib, last year, because the death rate was higher in those taking the drug than in those taking a placebo. Pfizer had planned to market torcetrapib in combination with its LDL-lowering statin, Lipitor.

The only available HDL-raising drug therapy now available is large doses of niacin, which can increase HDL levels by about 20 percent, Barter said. But that treatment has annoying side effects, such as serious skin flushing and itching, he said. New formulations have lessened but not eliminated the side effects, he added.

Barter is now doing studies to determine whether the damage caused by torcetrapib is closely related to the drug's HDL-raising effect. "If the effect is unrelated to HDL, that class of drugs still has a future, because other members of the class might not have the problem," he said. "That still has to be put to the test. New members of the class of drugs could be introduced into clinical trials, probably as early as next year."

The new study has settled one issue, Barter said. "We saw a residual cardiovascular risk in some people with low LDL levels," he said. "It now appears that the major cause of that risk was low HDL levels. The implication is that we should be treating HDL as well as LDL."

"There is a residual risk, and we think that a substantial proportion of this is mediated by low HDL levels," said Dr. Vera Bittner, a professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and one of the trial leaders. "We all agree that we need drugs that can raise HDL levels, so that we can test the hypothesis that raising HDL will reduce risk."

But Bittner said she was "not quite willing to make the leap of faith that an HDL intervention will work, and the premature discontinuation of the [Pfizer] trial proves my point."

More information

Learn about HDL and LDL cholesterol from the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Philip Barter, M.D., director, Heart Research Institute, Sydney, Australia; Vera Bittner, professor, medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Sept. 27, 2007, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Lead levels in disturbed soil post-Katrina unsafe
2. Pump up the Thiamine levels after gastric surgery
3. Low testosterone levels lead to eating disorders
4. Genetics and cholesterol levels
5. Decrease in testosterone levels lead to Alzheimers
6. Levels Of Blood Proteins May Help Heart Disease Care
7. Breast cancer risk doubles by high sex hormone levels
8. Elevated Ozone Levels Hurt Sperm Count
9. Elevating Manganese Levels hold back HIV
10. High Levels of Protein Linked to Brain Shrinkage
11. High iron levels may cause Cardiovascular Disease in women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... The ... has selected the latest beneficiary of their ongoing community enrichment program. The current ... in area schools. Donations are now being accepted at: http://www.angelsanddoves.com/donate.html . , ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... co-occur frequently. While a significant number of women and men with eating disorders ... trauma itself, that best predicts the development of an eating disorder. , ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to ... are derived from a cluster of melanin when exposed to sunlight. Although most moles ... a lifetime of embarrassment. Historically, mole removal has involved a painful, often ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... , ... February 07, 2016 , ... ... with the latest techniques and the most minimally invasive approaches. , Women who ... particularly after menopause. Other risk factors include surgery to the pelvic floor, connective ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 06, 2016 , ... US Sports ... Coaching Conference (YUCC) . This event brings together top non-profit leaders, ultimate organizations, and ... and Girls Ultimate”. Valerio Iani, Bay Area Disc Program Director of Youth and Education, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... Palatin Technologies, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PTN), ... for the treatment of diseases with significant unmet ... the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ... Patent Application Serial Number 14/313,258 (the ,258 application).  ... female sexual dysfunction using the formulation and dose ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016  LivaNova, PLC, Hersteller des VNS-Therapie ... dem Titel „Epilepsy Around the World" (Epilepsie ... Krankheit gegenüber ein größeres Bewusstsein gefördert werden ... bei Epilepsie auf dem Internationalen Epilepsietag zu ... Mithilfe der neuen Infografik sollen wichtige Statistiken ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 5, 2016  Redwood Scientific Technologies, Inc. announced today ... to help women balance their hormones. This product will ... Jason Cardiff , President and CEO. "I ... help the millions of women across the country and ... imbalanced hormones. Our research and development team is confident ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: