A Norwegian University study questions the ‘common knowledge’ that total cholesterol is a strong risk factor for heart disease. The aim of the study was to determine the “strength and validity of total serum cholesterol as a risk factor for mortality as defined by current CVD (cardiovascular disease) guidelines.” The association between cholesterol and heart disease has been assumed to be linear–as cholesterol goes down, the risk of heart disease goes down accordingly. The study looked at death from all causes within a 10 year period.
Results of the study said that “Among women, serum cholesterol had an inverse association with mortality.” In other words, as total cholesterol went down, the all-cause death rate for women went up! Yes, low cholesterol in women is correlated with a higher death rate. As restated in one article about the study, women whose cholesterol was above 270 had a 28% risk reduction of dying over those with a cholesterol level under 193. Also the specific risk of dying from coronary heart disease was lower as cholesterol levels went up.
The conclusions indicate a need to revise “clinical and public health recommendations regarding the ‘dangers’ of cholesterol.” The study showed that cholesterol was an overestimated risk factor. “This is especially true for women, for whom moderately elevated cholesterol (by current standards) may prove to be not only harmless but even beneficial.”
The study shows that the current guidelines for cholesterol need to be revised for men as well; however, the information is especially important for women where a low cholesterol level is associated with a higher death rate.
So how soon can these guidelines be revised to allow women to live longer and avoid the often serious side effects of the cholesterol lowering drugs? Probably not soon enough to save some women from dying or the harm from the drugs. Elizabeth Walling on Natural News says “millions of people are prescribed statin drugs to lower their cholesterol levels, believing that this will save their lives. Not only do statin drugs come with a plethora of dangerous side effects, but now the very premise of their existence is also brought into question.” What could cause a delay in revising the guidelines? Could it be that “Massive commercial interests are linked to drugs and other remedies marketed for this purpose.”?
I was alerted to the impact of this study by an article on Natural News.com.