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Controversial study casts doubt on 'bad' cholesterol

By Helen William

Published 13/06/2016

Cholesterol has been questioned as a cause of heart disease in older people in a controversial new study
Cholesterol has been questioned as a cause of heart disease in older people in a controversial new study

Cholesterol has been questioned as a cause of heart disease in older people in a controversial new study.

A review of 19 studies involving 68,094 people, published in the BMJ Open journal, found there is no association between what has traditionally been considered as 'bad' cholesterol and the premature deaths of over 60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease. Researchers found that 92% of people in the study with a high cholesterol level lived longer.

Joint author Dr Malcolm Kendrick, a GP at Central East Cheshire Trust, said: "What we found in our detailed systematic review was that older people with high LDL levels, the so-called 'bad' cholesterol, lived longer and had less heart disease."

The 17 international experts who wrote the review concluded that their work provided the basis for more research.

Medical opponents, however, described the results as "surprising" and "completely the wrong conclusion".

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