Study Shakes Up Cholesterol Concepts

There is a lot of dispute about cholesterol and this new study is going to push that even further.

LINK to the FULL TEXT of the article

“Is the use of cholesterol in mortality risk algorithms in clinical guidelines valid? Ten years prospective data from the Norwegian HUNT 2 study”

From the “Conclusions” of the article:

Based on epidemiological analysis of updated and comprehensive population data, we found that the underlying assumptions regarding cholesterol in clinical guidelines for CVD prevention might be flawed: cholesterol emerged as an overestimated risk factor in our study, indicating that guideline information might be misleading, particularly for women with ‘moderately elevated’ cholesterol levels in the range of 5–7 mmol L−1. Our findings are in good accord with some previous studies. A potential explanation of the lack of accord between clinical guidelines and recent population data, including ours, is time trend changes for CVD/IHD and underlying causal (risk) factors.


 ‘Know your numbers’ (a concept pertaining to medical risk factor levels, including cholesterol) is currently considered part of responsible citizenship, as well as an essential element of preventive medical care. Many individuals who could otherwise call themselves healthy struggle conscientiously to push their cholesterol under the presumed ‘danger’ limit (i.e. the recommended cut-off point of 5 mmol L−1), coached by health personnel, personal trainers and caring family members. Massive commercial interests are linked to drugs and other remedies marketed for this purpose. It is therefore of immediate and wide interest to find out whether our results are generalizable to other populations.

It is interesting to note the funding sources for this research:

This work was supported by the Research Unit of General Practice, Department of Public Health and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway; the Norwegian Medical Association’s Funds for Research in General Practice; and the Research Fund of the Icelandic College of Family Physicians.

To convert cholesterol numbers from the type of units used in this study to the form of reporting used in the United States, here is a handy site that gives a quick conversion:

Cholesterol Number Conversion

There is bound to be quite a lot of media attention and discussion of this study.

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1 thought on “Study Shakes Up Cholesterol Concepts

  1. Pingback: Study Shakes Up Cholesterol Concepts | it's the satiety | Today Headlines

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