[Guest post by DRJ]
I’m in the medical mood tonight. Cardiologists have told us that it’s important to have low levels of LDL cholesterol, known as the “bad” cholesterol. However, a new report from Japan says that people with low levels of LDL have higher overall death rates than those with high levels:
“A health study by Japanese researchers has found that people with low levels of LDL cholesterol — often referred to as “bad cholesterol” — are more likely to die than those with higher levels.
The finding comes as Japan prepares to introduce special health checkups from April, which list high LDL cholesterol as a factor in deciding whether a person has metabolic syndrome. It is likely the results of the survey will stir debate over the designation of LDL cholesterol as “bad.”
Low LDL is still linked with decreased risk of stroke and heart attacks but it’s also linked with an increased risk cancer and respiratory ailments – hence the higher overall death rates. The study’s author suggests:
“… the appropriate LDL cholesterol level for men is between 100 and 180 milligrams per deciliter of blood. He suggests women should have a level of at least 120 milligrams.
“Excessively lowering an LDL level that is within an appropriate range is dangerous,” he said. “Cholesterol is needed in the body and immune function drops when it is low, and it is possible that the death rate rises as a result.”
Interesting. In politics and medicine, moderation is often the winner.