Cholesterol Not a Factor in Heart Disease

The majority of patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease are at or below recommended LDL target levels on admission. Over 50% of first time heart attack deaths are associated with "normal" cholesterol values. What do these statements mean with respect to cholesterol causation of atherosclerosis?

Those of you who have read either of my books, Lipitor, Thief of Memory or Statin Drugs Side Effects, know that I have said repeatedly that cholesterol is irrelevant to heart disease. Nor is your cholesterol level a marker of coronary risk. Your personal or family history is a far stronger indicator. If an electrocardiogram shows an old scar or if blood relatives die prematurely of heart disease, you are undoubtedly high risk even if your cholesterol is 20.

Lead investigator, Dr Gregg Fonarow ( University of California Los Angeles Medical Center ) reported recently that nearly 75% of patients having first acute coronary events had LDL levels below 130 mg/dL and nearly 50% had LDL levels below 100 mg/dL.

This is what I am talking about and the news is not really all that new. I was first exposed to this when I read it in Uffe Ravnskov's book, The Cholesterol Myths, in the year 2000. Yet since that time, only very recently have supportive articles begun appearing in the medical literature.

When doctors have been force-fed cholesterol causation for four decades the truth is extremely difficult to swallow. Many doctors still remain confused, the lingering power of prolonged brainwashing. The truth is that everybody won financially in this misguided war on cholesterol, even doctors.

The study is published in the January 2009 issue of the American Heart Journal, January 20, 2009. This new data includes admission lipid levels for coronary artery disease on 137,000 individuals from more than 500 hospitals and as such cannot be disputed.

The mean LDL-cholesterol level among hospitalized patients was 104.9 mg/dL. Of these, almost 50% of patients had LDL-cholesterol levels less than 100 mg/dL, with 17% of patients having LDL levels lower than the more stringent target of less than 70 mg/dL. In the total group, roughly 75% of patients had levels less than 130 mg/dL. Just 1.4% of patients hospitalized with Coronary Artery Disease ( CAD ) had "ideal" levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol.

Duane Graveline MD MPH
Former USAF Flight Surgeon
Former NASA Astronaut
Retired Family Doctor

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