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High cholesterol 'does not cause heart disease' new research finds, ... about:reader?url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/06/12/...

telegraph.co.uk

High cholesterol 'does not


cause heart disease' new
research finds, so treating
with statins a 'waste of
time'
Henry Bodkin 13 June 2016 • 1:01am
3-4 minutos

Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the


elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like
statins is a waste of time, an international group
of experts has claimed.
A review of research involving nearly 70,000
people found there was no link between what
has traditionally been considered “bad”
cholesterol and the premature deaths of over
60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease.
Published in the BMJ Open journal, the new
study found that 92 percent of people with a

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High cholesterol 'does not cause heart disease' new research finds, ... about:reader?url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/06/12/...

high cholesterol level lived longer.


The authors have called for a re-evaluation of
the guidelines for the prevention of
cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, a
hardening and narrowing of the arteries,
because “the benefits from statin treatment
have been exaggerated”.
The results have prompted immediate
scepticism from other academics, however, who
questioned the paper’s balance.
High cholesterol is commonly caused by an
unhealthy diet, and eating high levels of
saturated fat in particular, as well as smoking.
It is carried in the blood attached to proteins
called lipoproteins and has been traditionally
linked to cardiovascular diseases such as
coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral
arterial disease and aortic disease.
“What we found in our detailed systematic
review was that older people with high LDL
(low-density lipoprotein) levels, the so-called
“bad” cholesterol, lived longer and had less
heart disease.”

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High cholesterol 'does not cause heart disease' new research finds, ... about:reader?url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/06/12/...

Vascular and endovascular surgery expert


Professor Sherif Sultan from the University of
Ireland, who also worked on the study, said
cholesterol is one of the “most vital” molecules
in the body and prevents infection, cancer,
muscle pain and other conditions in elderly
people.
“Lowering cholesterol with medications for
primary cardiovascular prevention in those aged
over 60 is a total waste of time and resources,
whereas altering your lifestyle is the single most
important way to achieve a good quality of life,”
he said.
Lead author Dr Uffe Ravnskov, a former
associate professor of renal medicine at Lund
University in Sweden, said there was “no
reason” to lower high-LDL-cholesterol.
But Professor Colin Baigent, an epidemiologist
at Oxford University, said the new study had
“serious weaknesses and, as a consequence,
has reached completely the wrong conclusion”.
Another sceptic, consultant cardiologist Dr Tim
Chico, said he would be more convinced by

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High cholesterol 'does not cause heart disease' new research finds, ... about:reader?url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/06/12/...

randomised study where some patients have


their cholesterol lowered using a drug, such as
a stain, while others receive a placebo.
He said: “There have been several studies that
tested whether higher cholesterol increases the
risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol in
elderly patients and observing whether this
reduces their risk of heart disease.
“These have shown that lowering cholesterol
using a drug does reduce the risk of heart
disease in the elderly, and I find this more
compelling than the data in the current study.”
The British Heart Foundation also questioned
the new research, pointing out that the link
between high LDL cholesterol levels and death
in the elderly is harder to detect because, as
people get older, more factors determine overall
health./

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