Reducing bad cholesterol to below "optimal" levels reversed the accumulation of artery-clogging plaque, according to a study in todays rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. When atherosclerotic plaque builds up in the arteries it can cause a heart attack or stroke.
People with known heart disease or a major risk factor, such as diabetes, are counseled to reduce their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) below 100 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dL) of blood. The goal for patients whose only risk factor is high cholesterol is usually below 130 mg/dL. Statin drugs are commonly used to lower total and LDL cholesterol.
There has been some question recently, however, whether more aggressive LDL lowering would confer an even greater benefit, says lead author Allen J. Taylor, M.D., director of cardiovascular research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Carole Bullock | EurekAlert!
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