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High HDL cholesterol is not always a good thing, researchers say

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

High HDL cholesterol is not always a good thing, researchers say   Doctors commonly recommend that patients strive to boost their HDL cholesterol test scores. This type of lipid is generally seen as beneficial and higher levels have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. However, a new study out of the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that this may not always be the case.

The researchers pointed out that some HDL molecules have specific proteins on their surface that may have pro-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is a common factor in the development of heart disease.

In the present study, the researchers analyzed cholesterol tests samples from a nearly 33,000 women. After a follow-up period of up to 14 years, the researchers found that participants who had higher levels of HDL molecules with pro-inflammatory proteins on their surface were 60 percent more likely to develop heart disease than those with few of these molecules.

The researchers said their findings could play an important role in understanding how to interpret cholesterol test results. Knowing that high HDL is not good in all cases could help physicians develop more appropriate recommendations for their patients.
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