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Do Heart Attack Survivors Live Longer If They Have High Cholesterol!?

In "Long-term prognostic importance of total cholesterol in elderly survivors of an acute myocardial infarction" Foody, JM. et al noted in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2003 Jul;51(7):930-6) that heart attack survivors live slightly longer if they have higher cholesterol.

After studying the sample group for 6 years, it was found that those with lowest cholesterol levels (less than 140 mg/dL or 4.1 mmol/L) at the end of the first year had 5% more deaths than those with the highest levels (above 240 mg/dL or 6.2mmol/L).

At the end of the sixth year those with the lowest levels had 7.6% more deaths than the highest levels.

The Co-operative Cardiovascular Pilot Project at the Yale School of Medicine was headed by Dr Joanne Foody, Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Whilst these numbers aren’t a massive swing supporting the necessity for higher cholesterol, they do pour-scorn on the assertion that high cholesterol is dangerous for those that have already suffered a heart-attack. In fact the analysis of the data demonstrated that higher cholesterol was mildly positive for those already recovering from a heart attack.

This should eradicate any fear that heart attack sufferers have relating to their cholesterol levels playing a significant role in their outcomes after a first event.

This should also bring into question the need to prescribe statins and other cholesterol-lowering medication, which are known to increase all-cause-mortality and create a host of negative side-effects, to heart-attack survivors in a misguided attempt to lower cholesterol.

Links to the supporting article can be found here:

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