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High cholesterol may lead to other health problems

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Unhealthy cholesterol levels have been linked to several kinds of cancer in recent laboratory tests, and new research has shown that high cholesterol may increase a person's risk for developing bone marrow cancers like leukemia.

A team of researchers found that high cholesterol levels interfere with the environment at the center of bones where blood cells develop, causing more blood cells to leave the bones. Researchers believe that this vacancy can leave the door open for tumors like leukemia to enter the bones.

Dr Sergio Dias said that cholesterol drugs may be an effective way for a person to reduce their risk of these cancers, and cholesterol tests are required to determine who is at the highest risk.

"It is the first time, as far as we are aware, that cholesterol is directly linked to mobilization of cells in the bone marrow," he said. "We believe drugs that modulate cholesterol levels may have beneficial effects."

Nearly 50 percent of those diagnosed with leukemia will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

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