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Cholesterol Update

Heart disease risk is based on LDL size rather than total cholesterol level

Research now indicates that it is not your cholesterol level that matters, but the specific kinds of cholesterol Physicians often recommend lowering cholesterol, also advocating the use of hazardous statin drugs that are often unnecessary and ineffective. Guidelines continue to recommendation lower levels, the latest is under 120, but really little is known about whether that relates to heart disease risk. Many physicians are unaware of progress in research. In 2011, the latest studies indicate that it is the size of your LDL particles that is most related to risk for heart attacks. If you are concerned about your cholesterol, it is important to have a blood test to check your triglyceride level, and if possible your LDL particle size. Below is a summary. Note heart attack risk is not based on cholesterol level, but on the size of your LDL.

RELATIONSHIP OF TRIGLYCERIDES, LDL SIZE, AND HEART ATTACK RISK

Triglyceride level LDL particle size Heart disease/Stroke risk
Above 140 Small High
70-140 Need to measure Depends LDL on size
Below 70 Large Low

Beyond Routine Cholesterol Testing: The Role of LDL Particle Size ...[2004]
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Those with TG above 140 have small, dense LDL and may be classified as LDL phenotype B on the basis of TG alone. Individuals with TG below 70 do not have small, dense LDL. It would not be necessary to measure LDL particle size in these individuals. For individuals with TG between 70 and 140, TG cannot be used to predict those with small, dense LDL and a test of LDL particle size may be useful.

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"Modern science is advancing at an unprecedented rate, and the amount of scientific data is doubling every year." -Raddick et al, Science 3298:1028 (2010)

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