Researchers from NorthwesternUniversity (Chicago, Ill)report that higher levels ofhigh-density lipoprotein (HDL),the "good" cholesterol, areassociated with a lower risk ofprotein in the urine (albuminuria),a sign of kidney disease,in patients with type 1 diabetes.The findings were publishedin the January edition ofDiabetes Care.
The cholesterol profiles of107 patients who had type 1diabetes for at least 20 yearswere analyzed. Forty-twopatients had albuminuria, and65 did not. Total cholesterol,low-density lipoprotein, andtriglyceride levels were all similarin both sets of patients. HDLlevels, however, were significantlylower in patients withalbuminuria, compared withthose without the condition.When the age, sex, duration,and degree of patients' diabeteswere taken into account,the odds of having albuminuriawere cut in half for every 21-mg/dL increase in HDL.
Whether the higher HDL isprotective of the patients' kidneys,or whether it reflectssome other mechanism, isunknown, researchers said.They agree that this is a "verypreliminary report that needsconfirmation in larger numbersof patients."