Cholesterol Targets the Kidneys

Published Online: Wednesday, October 1, 2003

    The results of a new study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (August 2003), showed that individuals with too much low-density lipoprotein (?bad?) cholesterol or too little high-density lipoprotein (?good?) cholesterol may double the risk of kidney failure. The researchers said that the cholesterol levels appear to work on the kidneys just as much as they do on the cardiovascular system.

    It has been documented that people with kidney failure have abnormal cholesterol in their blood, but experts believed that this condition was the result of the kidney problem, not the cause of it, said study director Tobias Kurth, MD, of Brigham and Women?s Hospital. The new findings from the Physicians? Health Study, however, suggest the reverse.

    The researchers followed >4000 men over a period of 14 years. All appeared to have normal kidney function at the outset. The investigators evaluated kidney health by measuring blood levels of creatinine. They then correlated the number of men who had high creatinine levels with those who had troublesome cholesterol levels.

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