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Cholesterol testing may benefit kidney patients

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who are being treated for chronic kidney disease may want to consider seeking a cholesterol test. A recent study has found that high levels may indicate further problems that could harm their chances of successful treatment.

While it is well known that high cholesterol levels in the general population increases the risk of heart disease, studies have shown kidney disease patients who have high cholesterol actually die at lower rates.

However, Lawrence Appell, who led the current study, said that low cholesterol test scores may actually indicate malnutrition and high inflammation levels, rather than simply good heart health.

He and his research team tracked the medical records of 990 individuals being treated for kidney disease and found that similar percentages experienced cardiovascular events during the course of the 12-year study, whether or not they were malnourished. However, high cholesterol levels indicated an increased risk of heart attack or stroke in patients who were not malnourished.

"Whereas traditional risk factors such as elevated blood cholesterol levels remain important, they appear to compete and interact with non-traditional risk factors such as malnutrition and inflammation," said Gabriel Contreras, who co-authored the study. "Doctors caring for CKD patients should take into account the presence of malnutrition and inflammation as they interpret blood cholesterol levels."
 

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