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Low Levels of 'Good' Cholesterol Linked to Dementia


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Excerpt: I know, I know this study concerns old people... nevertheless it is one more good news about HDL (take your omega 3s !) NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Low blood levels of the "good" cholesterol, known as HDL cholesterol, increase the risk of dementia in the elderly, even if they show no signs of heart disease or stroke, researchers report. "These findings are of great clinical importance since they suggest that increasing HDL cholesterol...might prevent the development of cognitive

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  1. #1
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    Low Levels of 'Good' Cholesterol Linked to Dementia

    I know, I know this study concerns old people... nevertheless it is one more good news about HDL (take your omega 3s !)

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Low blood levels of the "good" cholesterol, known as HDL cholesterol, increase the risk of dementia in the elderly, even if they show no signs of heart disease or stroke, researchers report.

    "These findings are of great clinical importance since they suggest that increasing HDL cholesterol...might prevent the development of cognitive impairment and dementia," study author Dr. Anton J. M. de Craen of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands told Reuters Health.

    Doctors have known that patients with low HDL (or high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol are at elevated risk of developing heart disease and stroke. They have also known that heart disease and stroke increase the risk of dementia because underlying hardening of the arteries can reduce blood flow to the brain. Also, stroke damages brain tissue.

    But the new study, published in the June issue of the Annals of Neurology, found that low HDL levels were associated with mental impairment and dementia even in patients who showed no signs of cardiovascular disease.

    In the study of 561 85-year-old men and women, those with the lowest blood levels of HDL cholesterol were more than twice as likely to have dementia as those with the highest HDL levels. When the researchers excluded patients with documented heart disease or stroke, they found that those with the lowest HDL levels were nearly four times as likely to have dementia as those with the highest levels.

    And neither of these findings was affected by a person's educational background or their blood levels of two types of harmful lipids: "bad" LDL cholesterol or triglycerides.



    SOURCE: Annals of Neurology 2002;51:716-721.
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