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Men with high levels of good cholesterol live longer

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Men who receive cholesterol tests showing high levels of HDL, or "good cholesterol," are more likely to live long lives, according to a study published in American Journal of Cardiology.

The Albert Einstein College of Medicine researchers who led the study found that men who have the highest levels of good cholesterol during their 60s are 28 percent more likely to live beyond age 85 than men with low levels of HDL.

Doctors have long known about the connection between good cholesterol and improved heart health. It is believed to sweep the arteries of buildups that could potentially cause heart attacks or strokes. However, this is among the first investigations to show that this directly translates into a longer life.

For the study, the researchers examined the medical records of 650 veterans starting around the time of their 65th year. They then grouped the men based on their cholesterol levels.

Given the strong association between good cholesterol and longevity that was uncovered by the study and the fact that it can be hard to raise levels through diet and exercise, the researchers told Reuters Health that scientists should be looking for a drug that can raise HDL levels.

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