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Change in HDL cholesterol alone does not affect heart risk

Simply increasing circulating high density lipoprotein cholesterol does not reduce the risk of death from coronary heart disease or cardiovascular events, an international team of researchers concludes.

Their meta-regression analysis included 108 randomised controlled trials involving 299,310 patients at risk of cardiovascular events.

Change in HDL cholesterol explained less than 1% of the variability in any of the outcomes. But for a 0.26mmol/l reduction in LDL cholesterol, there was a 7.2% reduction in deaths, 7.1% in cardiovascular events and 4.4% for all deaths, when adjusted for HDL cholesterol and drug class.

BMJ 2009;338:b92

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