Washington: Increasing levels of high-density lipoproteins, better known as HDL or “good” cholesterol, reduced the risk for heart attack and stroke among patients with diabetes, according to a new study.
Lead author Gregory Nichols, PhD, senior investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Centre for Health Research in Portland, Ore said that heart attack and stroke risk increase when ‘good’ cholesterol levels go down
Researchers studied patients with diabetes because they are more prone to heart disease with a lifetime risk as high as 87 percent.
While there is considerable evidence that reducing the amount of low-density lipoprotein, also known as LDL or “bad” cholesterol, can reduce the risk of heart disease, the relationship between HDL cholesterol and heart disease is less clear, Nichols said.
“Our study adds to the growing body of evidence that raising HDL levels may be an important strategy for reducing heart attack risk,” said study lead author Gregory Nichols, PhD, senior investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Centre for Health Research in Portland, Ore.
The study included 30,067 patients who entered Kaiser Permanente diabetes registries in Oregon, Washington and Georgia between 2001 and 2006. These patients had at least two HDL cholesterol measurements between 6 and 24 months apart.
After obtaining the cholesterol measurement, researchers followed the patients for up to 8 years to see if they were hospitalized for a heart attack or stroke.