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More good cholesterol may lead to lower heart risk for diabetics

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Cholesterol testing may be able to predict the future risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke in individuals with diabetes, as a new study has found that higher levels of HDL or "good" cholesterol may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular complications.

A team of researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research examined the medical records of more than 30,000 individuals with diabetes over an eight-year period.

The results showed that individuals who improved their HDL levels during this time were 8 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those maintained constant cholesterol levels. Individuals whose good cholesterol levels dropped were shown to be 11 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular complications.

"This is promising news for patients with diabetes, who already have an increased risk for heart problems. Raising their good cholesterol may be one more way for these patients to reduce their risk," said Suma Vupputuri, who led the investigation.

The findings suggest that individuals with type 2 diabetes, who have very high rates of heart disease, may have more control over their risk of cardiovascular complications than previously thought.

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