Good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) has been related to premature death if found in high levels in the body. Although, HDL helps to discard plaque-building low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from the arteries, the findings are surprising. Too low and too high are both associated with higher risks of death, you should maintain intermediate levels of HDL and also manage your LDL cholesterol to avoid premature mortality.
Commonly praised as “good cholesterol,” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) has been researched to relate to the risk of premature death if found in high levels in the body. The epidemiological study of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System was published in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology on August 11, 2016.
A Study Of Over 1.7 Million Male Veterans
Senior author Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, said, “Previously it was thought that raised levels of the good cholesterol were beneficial. The relationship between increased levels of HDL cholesterol and early death is unexpected and not fully clear yet. This will require further study.”
Although HDL cholesterol helps to discard plaque-building low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol aka “bad cholesterol” from the arteries, “the findings surprised” the researchers. LDL cholesterol is already linked with heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening diseases, but to agree HDL as a deadly cholesterol was difficult to comprehend. Moreover, the researchers said such relationship between HDL cholesterol and premature death are not reported in other large-scale studies.
However, that does not entirely cancel the possibility of premature death risk in individuals with high HDL cholesterol. “The findings may explain why clinical trials aimed at increasing HDL cholesterol levels failed to show improved outcomes.”
Premature Mortality Risk With Low HDL Cholesterol Levels
A kidney disease affected patient is observed to have low levels of HDL cholesterol on frequent basis. This clearly shows the relation between early death and low HDL cholesterol, said the researchers. “Too low and too high are both associated with higher risk of death.”
Towards its conclusion, the study revealed an important finding about the ‘U-shaped curve’ which shows risk of early death with low AND high levels of HDL cholesterol, i.e. at both ends of the spectrum.
Hit the median!
Now that it’s clear you could be at risk from both ends, you should maintain intermediate levels of the good cholesterol to not only avoid premature mortality but to also look for increased longevity. Nonetheless, it is also important to manage your LDL cholesterol which is equally damaging to your health.