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HDL may not benefit those with healthy cholesterol

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Healthcare experts have advocated for years that individuals seek cholesterol testing in order to determine their levels of both HDL, or "good" cholesterol, and LDL, or "bad" cholesterol. High levels of HDL were thought to be good for heart health, and patients - with help from their doctors - worked to bring those numbers up.

However, a new study has found that high HDL may not always be a good thing. Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found that after patients have lowered their levels of unhealthy LDL, high levels of good cholesterol may not provide any additional benefit to the heart.

''Once we get the levels of LDL down to very low levels, it becomes unclear whether HDL is an important determinant of [cardiovascular] risk," Paul Ridker, who led the investigation, told WebMD.

He added that good cholesterol may still benefit individuals who continue to have high levels of LDL, but it does not seem to make much of a difference for individuals with healthy cholesterol.

HDL is thought to benefit those with high cholesterol by sweeping the arteries of plaque buildups, according to the American Heart Association.

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