You may have heard several times to increase good cholesterol levels and reduce bad cholesterol levels, but surprisingly, a new study suggests that excess of good cholesterol can increase a person’s risk of premature death.
Too much of high levels of cholesterol is not better for your health, suggests the researchers in their new study conducted by senior author Ziyad Al-Aly, Assistant Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.
High levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or good cholesterol may increase the risk of premature death as much as low levels of cholesterol. Good cholesterol helps reduce risk of stroke and heart attacks but too high levels can indeed result in risks.
Intermediate levels of HDL or good cholesterol however benefits in increasing their longevity, say the researchers.
Senior author Ziyad Al-Aly said, “The findings surprised us. Previously it was thought that raised levels of the good cholesterol were beneficial. The relationship between increased levels of HDL cholesterol and early death is unexpected.”
Cholesterol can narrow and block heart vessels leading to cardiovascular diseases and strokes, and from ages, HDL cholesterol has been credited in eliminating plaque-building “bad cholesterol” from arteries. Researchers have examined the kidney function and HDL cholesterol levels in more than 1.7 million male veterans for over a decade.
The study has found that both high and low HDL cholesterol levels were linked to the increased risk of dying among the participants with all levels of kidney function. Al-Aly said, “Too low and too high are both associated with higher risk of death.”