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Pieces coming together in Parkinson's, cholesterol puzzle
Date:4/4/2008

ar health. Huangs research adds to a growing literature indicating that people with low LDL may be at greater risk for developing Parkinsons.

Our study again shows an association between low cholesterol and the risk of Parkinsons disease, but we have not shown cause and effect, Huang said. People taking statins for valid medical reasons should not stop simply to avoid Parkinsons.

For this prospective study, fasting lipids were measured from 1991 to 1993 in a group of 3,233 men of Japanese ancestry who took part in a long-running study called the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study. These data were collected before statin therapy for lowering cholesterol was widely available. When followed for about ten years, the incidence of Parkinsons disease increased with decreasing levels of LDL cholesterol.

After adjusting their statistical analysis for age, smoking, coffee intake and other factors, the researchers calculated that the relative odds of Parkinsons for men with lower LDL levels (85 milligrams per deciliter) was about twice that of those with higher LDL levels (135 milligrams per deciliter). They concluded that this study supports the hypothesis that low LDL levels are associated with an increased future risk of Parkinsons.

Huang said more research is needed to confirm these findings, with logical next steps including conducting studies with larger sample sizes and that include women and African-Americans.


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Contact: Patric Lane
patric_lane@unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

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