Non-HDL Cholesterol Predicts Heart Problems

Published Online: Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Non?high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non?HDL-C) is the best lipoprotein predictor of heart problems in people with heart disease, researchers reported in the October 22, 2002, issue of Circulation.

The findings are based on data from 1514 heart patients who were followed for 5 years. Each 10-mg/dL increase in non-HDL cholesterol was linked to a 4.9% increase in risk of heart attack.

In comparison, the risk for heart attacks increased by 4.3% with every 10-mg/dL increase in total cholesterol and by 1.6% with each 10-mg/dL rise in trigly-cerides. The increased risk that was associated with increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels was not significant, possibly because the patients in the study were on medications to lower their LDL levels.

Non-HDL cholesterol also had the most profound effect on angina, with a 4.9% increased risk for every 10-mg/dL rise in non-HDL.

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