Low Levels of Bad Cholesterol Increase Stroke Risk
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A study warned that women with low levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, sometimes called "bad cholesterol," may face an increased risk of bleeding stroke.
According to the latest guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, a person's levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol should remain under 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) to maintain health.
That is because, generally, specialists have considered LDL to be "bad" cholesterol. LDL carries cholesterol to the cells that need to make use of it, but if its levels are too high, it can stick to the arteries, leading to all manner of cardiovascular problems.
However, new research from the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, has found that women with LDL levels below 100 mg/dl may actually be more at risk of hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke. This type of stroke, though less common than an ischemic stroke, is harder to treat and thus more dangerous to the person experiencing it.
In this study, the researchers looked at the data of 27,937 women aged 45 years and over who took part in the Women's Health Study. The data included measurements of each participant's LDL cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels at the beginning of the study.
The researchers has admitted that their study has faced some limitations, including the fact that they only had access to cholesterol and triglyceride level measurements at baseline and that they did not have a chance to investigate whether menopause-related factors played a role in some of the women's increased stroke risk.