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HDL Predicts Risk of Major Cardiovascular Events

Relationship observed even in patients whose LDL has been lowered by statins

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol predict the risk of major cardiovascular events even in patients whose low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol has been substantially lowered by statins, according to study findings published in the Sept. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Philip Barter, M.D., Ph.D., from the Heart Research Institute in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues examined the risk of a first major cardiovascular event in 9,770 patients based on levels of HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol during the third month of treatment with statins.

The researchers found that HDL cholesterol levels were a significant inverse predictor of major cardiovascular events. This relationship was reduced to borderline significance after taking the effect of statin treatment on LDL cholesterol levels into account, but was still significant even in patients with LDL cholesterol levels below 70 mg/dL.

"In this post-hoc analysis, HDL cholesterol levels were predictive of major cardiovascular events in patients treated with statins," Barter and colleagues conclude. "This relationship was also observed among patients with LDL cholesterol levels below 70 mg per deciliter."

The study was supported by Pfizer.

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