Cholesterol :: British Heart Foundation comments on side effects of raising HDL cholesterol

Dr Jay Heinecke of the University of Washington School of Medicine this week presented a paper about raising HDL cholesterol at the American Chemical Society.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) says:

?There has been considerable recent interest in producing drugs that can raise levels of HDL (particles in the bloodstream containing ?good cholesterol?), to provide added benefit for patients who are lowering LDL (particles containing ?bad cholesterol?) with statins to reduce their risk of heart disease.

?However, one of these drugs was recently withdrawn, as it unexpectedly increased the risk of heart disease. Dr Heinecke?s team have now carried out the most complete analysis to date of the composition of HDL, showing that these particles contain many previously unsuspected proteins with roles unlinked to carrying cholesterol.

?This information highlights the potential side effects of raising HDL, provides new information for the design of tests to predict risk more accurately, and also offers clues as to which proteins in HDL may be the most protective for the heart. This will help researchers develop more appropriate drugs that could help prevent heart disease.?

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