A level of “bad” LDL cholesterol below 100 mg/dL is not protective against cardiovascular disease, as found in a study of 136,905 patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease, published in the American Heart Journal. “Almost half” of those patients had an LDL level at the time of hospital admission below 100 mg/dL, said a journal article reporting on the study.
Even so, millions of patients each year with an LDL reading below 100 mg/dL are told that their LDL level is “optimal,” and millions more whose LDL is between 100 and 130 are told their LDL level is “near optimal.”
Read the free book on “bad” LDL cholesterol, healthy diets, statin safety, and ultrasound artery screening, at the home page: YourArteries.net
The study suggested that a level of “good” HDL cholesterol above 60 mg/dL was protective against cardiovascular disease, as fewer than 10% of those hospitalized for coronary artery disease had HDL above that level.
The coronary arteries deliver blood to the heart. Coronary artery disease, caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries, reduces the blood flow to the heart. LDL cholesterol is a major building block of that plaque.
People with plaque in their coronary arteries typically have plaque in other arteries throughout their body. Plaque in the carotid arteries leading to the brain causes strokes, and also vascular dementia due to mini-strokes.
An abstract of the research study is available free online. The study is titled “Lipid levels in patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease: An analysis of 136,905 hospitalizations in Get With The Guidelines.”
The study used a database aggregating data from hospitals participating in the “Get With The Guidelines” hospital-based quality improvement initiative, which was developed by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association to improve the care of patients with cardiac diseases and stroke.