Low HDL, More Strokes

I've written often about the perils of having lower amounts of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as the "good" cholesterol, most recently about the dangers low-fat diets represent to the heart. A study recently found HDL levels are inversely associated with stroke risk in elderly men.

Researchers examined the association between HDL cholesterol levels and stroke risk in 2,444 men between the ages of 71-93. The investigators measured levels of HDL cholesterol at examinations from 1991-93 and followed the men through the end of 1998. One hundred thirty-seven strokes occurred during follow-up that were attributable to either a blood clot (89 cases) or bleeding in the brain (48 cases).

Although no association was found between HDL cholesterol and strokes caused by bleeding in the brain, the incidence of stroke caused by blood clots in the brain declined with increasing HDL cholesterol levels. Scientists discovered a 2.7-fold increased risk of a blood clot-related stroke among men with low HDL cholesterol levels compared with those with high levels.

Either young or old, by modifying your diet according to your own nutritional type, you can raise your HDL significantly. Exercise,in the form of a good cardiovascular program, can also serve you well.

Yahoo News August 13, 2004

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