YOUR HEALTH: The good, bad and ugly about cholesterol and race

Nearly two in five people in the U.S. have high cholesterol.
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 4:16 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 27, 2023 at 7:50 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Nearly two in five people in the U.S. have high cholesterol. That is when you have high levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, typically numbers above 200 milligrams per deciliter, in your blood. LDL is referred to as bad cholesterol while high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is referred to as good cholesterol. It’s commonly thought having more of the good cholesterol versus the bad can protect you against heart disease, but new research shows that might not be the case depending on your race.

How low can you go? When it comes to lowering your cholesterol, you want to lower your bad cholesterol while raising the good.

Steven Nissen, MD, Cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic says, “Getting the bad cholesterol levels down to really low levels, down in the 20s and 30s, can actually remove plaque from the coronary arteries.”

Lowering your risk for heart attack and stroke and ...

Doctor Nissen also says, “Lower and lower levels of the bad cholesterol LDL are associated with a reduction in the risk of death, heart attack, and stroke.”

And higher levels of good cholesterol had similar positive outcomes. But research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that was not the case for everyone. For black Americans, higher levels of good cholesterol did not lower the risk of heart attacks. The researchers emphasized the findings mean that lowering your bad cholesterol should be more important than increasing your good cholesterol. You should also look at other cardiac risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Helping you stay heart-healthy.

Since black Americans have an increased risk of heart attacks due to high cholesterol, their outcomes after having a heart attack are also not favorable. A Duke study found African American patients who had suffered a heart attack were almost two times more likely than white patients to die within a year of treatment.

Click here to report a typo.