LDL – The Lower the Better
Low density lipoprotein cholesterol is the well-known culprit in terms of cardiovascular risk.
Courtesy of a large meta-analysis of statin trials done in 2010 (the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists Collaboration), we know that for people starting with higher LDL-C levels (approximately 3.4 mmol/L), they can lower their risk of having a major adverse vascular event by 22%, every time they lower their LDL-C level by 1mmol/L.
But what happens once your LDL level is lower? Can you continue to increase your protection by lowering your LDL levels further? Or does the beneficial effect plateau at a certain level? Or, worse still can very low LDL levels actually cause harm?
A new meta-analysis just published in JAMA Cardiology has gone some way in answering these questions.
The researchers analysed data from the 26 statin studies in the CTTC as well as three large trials of non-statin, cholesterol-lowering therapy looking at those patients who had an LDL-C level of 1.8 mmol/L or less at baseline.
They found the cardioprotective benefits continued ...