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Statins may not affect all aspects of cholesterol-related heart risk

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

While statin medications can dramatically reduce unhealthy cholesterol, individuals taking them may still benefit from cholesterol testing. A new study has found that, while they may improve LDL levels, they are ineffective at raising HDL levels.

Low HDL, or good, cholesterol scores have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, even if a patient's levels of harmful cholesterol are in line. Raising HDL scores may be one of the more important aspects of maintaining good heart health.

For the study, a team of researchers from Tufts University examined the results of 20 previous studies concerning statin use and HDL. They found that patients with low levels of HDL were at the same risk of heart attack, regardless of whether or not they were taking statins.

"The findings underscore the importance of recognizing the risk associated with low levels of HDL, even in statin-treated patients, and highlight the need for additional clinical investigation that targets levels of HDL in this context," the authors wrote in their report.

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