Is Boosting Your HDL to Cut Heart Disease a Lost Cause?
A day after a study in the journal Lancet challenged the long-standing notion that raising levels of HDL – commonly known as “good” cholesterol — prevents heart attacks, top cardiology experts differed on whether the research really means the end of the road for therapies aimed at boosting HDL levels to beat back heart disease.
HDL levels are still an important predictor of heart health; for decades, doctors have used this measure as a way of predicting a patient’s risk for future heart disease.
Naturally, this correlation made HDL levels seem an attractive target for drugs to reduce the risk of heart disease. To help doctors understand whether this was the case, Kathiresan and his colleagues looked at a group of people who had higher HDL levels because of differences in their genetic makeup. They compared these people with others without this genetic predisposition.