‘Good’ cholesterol reduces risk of heart attack and stroke in diabetics

A study of over 30,000 diabetic patients found that those people who reduced their levels of ‘good’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels were at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Diabetics have an 87% risk of developing heart disease throughout their lives. It has long been accepted that by reducing levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) people can lower the chance of being affected by heart disease although, this new study published in The American Journal of Cardiology has discovered that those patients whose HDL levels increased over a five year period had 8% fewer heart attacks than those whose HDL remained the same. The diabetics who lowered their HDL levels over the study period were found to suffer from 11% more heart attacks and strokes.

HDL levels can be increased through keeping a healthy weight, exercising more, eating healthily and stopping smoking. Levels of HDL of 60 mg/dl or higher are thought to protect against heart disease.

A substance present in many tissues and an important constituent of cell membranes although high concentrations of a certain type of cholesterol in the blood are unhealthy. Full medical glossary
The death of a section of heart muscle caused by an interruption in its blood supply. Also called a myocardial infarction. Full medical glossary
One of a group of compounds that consist of a protein combined with a lipid, and help to transport lipids in the blood and lymphatic system. Full medical glossary
Compounds that form the structure of muscles and other tissues in the body, as well as comprising enzymes and hormones. Full medical glossary
Any sudden neurological problem caused by a bleed or a clot in a blood vessel. Full medical glossary