'Good' cholesterol function as important as its levels

High levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) are associated with a decreased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) -- a disease of the major arterial blood vessels that is one of the major causes of heart attack and stroke. This suggests that therapeutics that increase HDL levels could be clinically useful.

However, such therapies have not yielded clear-cut decreases in disease, indicating that the beneficial effects of HDL are likely not related simply to its abundance. More evidence to support this notion has now been provided by a team of researchers, led by Ulf Landmesser, at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, who found that HDL from patients with (CAD) had different effects on cells lining than did HDL from healthy individuals.

In particular, the HDL from patients with CAD was found to lack anti-inflammatory effects on blood vessel–lining cells and could not stimulate repair of the blood vessel lining. As noted by the team and, in an accompanying commentary, Philip Shaul and Chieko Mineo, at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, these data indicate that if the protective potential of HDL is to be harnessed, its biological functions as well as its abundance must be considered.

More information: Mechanisms underlying adverse effects of HDL on eNOS-activating pathways in patients with coronary artery disease, www.jci.org/articles/view/4294… 75b59fdbec4a2b72920d

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Cognitive impairment predicts worse outcome in heart failure

date May 24, 2015

Cognitive impairment predicts worse outcome in elderly heart failure patients, reveals research presented today at Heart Failure 2015 by Hiroshi Saito, a physiotherapist at Kameda Medical Centre in Kamogawa, Japan. Patients ...

1950s drug is future heart treatment

date May 22, 2015

Oxford University researchers have found a promising future treatment for heart disease, going back to a drug first developed in 1950.

Time is muscle in acute heart failure

date May 21, 2015

Urgent diagnosis and treatment in acute heart failure has been emphasised for the first time in joint recommendations published today in European Heart Journal.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.