The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Low HDL cholesterol increases coronary heart disease death in the elderly

This study was published in the Chinese Medical Journal 2004 Apr;117(4):511-5

Study title and authors:
Apparent protective effect of high density lipoprotein against coronary heart disease in the elderly.
Li JZ, Chen ML, Wang S, Dong J, Zeng P, Hou LW.
Biochemistry Laboratory, Beijing Institute of Geriatrics and Beijing Hospital, Ministry of Health, Beijing 100730, China.

This paper can be accessed at:

This study was designed to evaluate the relationship between high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels and heart attack and coronary heart disease death and to explore the protective effect of HDL-C against heart disease in the elderly Chinese. The study included 1,211 retirees (92% males, average age 70) and lasted just over 11 years.

According to their HDL-C levels, subjects were divided into 3 groups and the differences in incidence of heart attack and heart disease death in each group were analyzed. The groups were:
(i) Low HDL-C (less than 1.03 mmol/L or 40mg/dL)
(ii) Medium HDL-C (or normal, 1.03 - 1.56 mmol/L or 40mg/dL - 60mg/dL) 
(iii) High HDL-C (more than 1.56 mmol/L or 60mg/dL)

The study found:
(a) Heart attack occurrence and heart disease death in the normal HDL-C group was lower than in the low HDL-C group by 40% and 53% respectively.
(b) Heart attack occurrence and heart disease death in the high HDL-C group was lower than in the normal HDL-C group by 56% and 50% respectively.

The paper concludes that low HDL cholesterol is an important independent risk factor for heart attacks and Coronary Heart Disease death in the elderly; Also high HDL cholesterol has significant protective effect against coronary artery disease.

HDL cholesterol can be increased by a high fat diet. See here and here.