Cholesterol does not cause heart disease.
Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like statins is a waste of time, an international group of experts has claimed.
A review of research involving nearly 70,000 people found there was no link between what has traditionally been considered “bad” cholesterol and the premature deaths of over 60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease.
Published in the BMJ Open journal, the new study found that 92 percent of people with a high cholesterol level lived longer.
“Lowering cholesterol with medications is a total waste of time”
Professor Sherif Sultan, University of Ireland
The authors have called for a re-evaluation of the guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries, because “the benefits from statin treatment have been exaggerated”.
The results have prompted immediate scepticism from other academics, however, who questioned the paper’s balance.
High cholesterol is commonly caused by an unhealthy diet, and eating high levels of saturated fat in particular, as well as smoking.
It is carried in the blood attached to proteins called lipoproteins and has been traditionally linked to cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease and aortic disease.