Yet Another Study Shows Low Cholesterol Increases Risk Of Early Death!
"Low cholesterol showed significant associations with death from cancer, liver diseases, and mental diseases."
See also: Class Action - Statins Increases Heart Disease By 10% In Women
Yet another study shows low cholesterol increases risk of early death!
November 30, 2004.
As part of the larger European Health Monitoring and Promotion Programme, Austrian researchers followed over 149,000 men and women (aged 20-95 years) for the 15-year period 1985-1999.
The relationship between risk of death and variables including blood pressure, height, weight, cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose were analyzed after adjusting for a variety of potential confounding influences.
The researchers observed that high cholesterol was predictive of death from coronary heart disease in men of all ages and in women under the age of 50. However, low cholesterol was significantly associated with increased all-cause mortality in men across the entire age range, and in women from the age of 50 onward.
Low cholesterol showed significant associations with death from cancer, liver diseases, and mental diseases.
The researchers remarked that "the low cholesterol effect occurs even among younger respondents, contradicting the previous assessments among cohorts of older people that this is a proxy or marker for frailty occurring with age."(Ulmer H, et al)
Inconvenient facts ignored, as usual
It is interesting to note how this study was not greeted with anywhere near the media fanfare lavished upon a much smaller long-term follow-up study also published this year. The latter purportedly found a beneficial effect of low-cholesterol on mortality.
Researchers in this 'supportive' study measured the blood cholesterol of over 3,000 healthy Finnish men aged 30-45 during the sixties, then recorded their mortality during an average follow-up period of thirty-five years.---
The men with blood cholesterol levels at or below 194 mg/dl were less than half as likely to develop heart disease and had a twenty-five percent lower overall mortality rate than those with cholesterol levels above this limit. However, only eight percent of the population had a cholesterol level of 194 mg/dl or lower, and when this group was split in two, those in the lower half, with cholesterol levels at or below 182 mg/dl, actually had a ten percent higher mortality rate than the upper half(Strandberg TE, et al).
While the small number of men with low cholesterol precludes any firm conclusions, this result is concordant with a collective analysis of other population studies showing that overall mortality begins to rise when blood cholesterol drops below 180 mg/dl(Jacobs D, et al).
The Finnish study also contained no data on the fate of those whose cholesterol levels fell during the follow-up period. Data from the Framingham study showed that people with falling cholesterol levels suffered increased mortality, while in Honolulu those with increasing cholesterol levels enjoyed greater longevity!(Anderson KM, et al)(Schatz IJ, et al.)
Bottom line: the anti-cholesterol theory is still a complete load of bovine excrement.
Ulmer H, et al. Why Eve is not Adam: prospective follow-up in 149650 women and men of cholesterol and other risk factors related to cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Journal of Womens Health, Jan-Feb. 2004; 13 (1): 41-53.
Strandberg TE, et al. Low cholesterol, mortality, and quality of life in old age during a 39-year follow-up. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Sept 1, 2004; 44 (5): 1002-1008.
Jacobs D, et al. Report of the Conference on Low Blood Cholesterol: Mortality Associations. Circulation, 1992; 86: 1046-1060.
Anderson KM, et al. Cholesterol and mortality. 30 years of follow-up from the Framingham study. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1987; 257: 2176-2180.
Schatz IJ, et al. Cholesterol and all-cause mortality in elderly people from the Honolulu Heart Program: a cohort study. Lancet, Aug 4, 2001; 358 (9279): 351-355.
About the Author
Anthony Colpo is an independent researcher and certified fitness consultant with 20 years' experience in the physical conditioning arena. To contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
posted by Chris Gupta on Thursday June 8 2006
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