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Paper of the Day - HDL predicts cardiac events when LDL is low

Low HDL cholesterol levels are predictive of major heart events even in patients with low LDL cholesterol levels, suggests data from the Treating to New Targets study.

When LDL cholesterol levels achieved in patients receiving statins were factored in, the role of HDL cholesterol was less marked, but still of significance (p=0.05).

Researchers said this suggested that in patients with coronary heart disease, higher HDL cholesterol levels may offset the increased risk associated with higher LDL cholesterol levels.

The post hoc analysis of the TNT study examined the predictive relationship between HDL cholesterol levels at the third month of statin treatment and the time to a first major cardiovascular event in 9,770 patients.

HDL cholesterol levels were found to be predictive of major heart events even in patients with LDL cholesterol levels below 70 mg per decilitre.

New England Journal of Medicine 2007;357(13):1301-1310

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