Mid-range 'good' cholesterol levels associated with longer life
Benjamin Bowe, M.P.H., of Washington University School of Medicine, and Ziyad Al-Aly, M.D., FASN, of Veterans Affairs Saint Louis Health Care System, and colleagues retrospectively studied 1,764,986 American male veterans.
Participants were chosen who had at least one measurement of kidney function and one measure of HDL cholesterol between October 2003 and September 2004, and they were followed until September 2013 or death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), desirable levels of HDL cholesterol should be around 40 mg/dL or above.
However, findings from the study indicate that both low HDL cholesterol levels less than 25 mg/dL and high HDL cholesterol levels above 50 mg/dL were linked to an increased risk of premature death during follow-up. While intermediate levels between 25-50 mg/dL reduced the risk of early death, thus forming a U-shaped relationship between HDL cholesterol and mortality risk.