Cholesterol Measurements May Be Made Easier

By Dr. Matthew Watson

(HealthDay News) -- Methods to gauge blood cholesterol to determine vascular disease risk can be simplified, researchers in England say.

Their method measures levels of either total or high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good" cholesterol) in the blood or apolipoproteins (proteins that help transport cholesterol), without the need to have patients fast and without regard to another form of blood fat called triglycerides.

"Expert opinion is divided" on which combination of measurements is ideal in gauging cardiovascular risk, explained John Danesh, of the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration Coordinating Centre at the University of Cambridge, and colleagues.

In order to examine the association between major blood fats and apolipoproteins and coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke, the researchers analyzed data on more than 300,000 people without initial vascular disease who took part in 68 long-term studies.

During the follow-up periods of the studies, there were almost 8,900 nonfatal heart attacks, more than 3,900 coronary heart disease deaths, over 2,500 ischemic strokes, 513 hemorrhagic strokes and more than 2,500 unclassified strokes, the study authors noted.

The analysis of the data yielded a number of findings. Read more...

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