London– After analysing the genetic characteristics that determine the size of good cholesterol particles, a team of researchers has demonstrated that not all good cholesterol is healthy.
The findings indicate that people with large high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles have an increased risk of myocardial infarction, while only small HDL particles are actually associated with decreased risk.
“This study highlights new and potential therapeutic targets in the field of cardiovascular diseases, including several genes related to the qualitative aspects of HDL particles, which may contribute to cardiovascular prevention,” said researcher Albert Prats from Hospital del Mar-IMIM in Spain.
According to the researchers, HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease as it transports cholesterol deposited in the arteries to the liver to be eliminated.
This contrasts with the so-called bad cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), which causes cholesterol to accumulate in the arteries and increases cardiovascular risk.
For the study, published in the journal Metabolism, Clinical and Experimental, the team analysed genetic characteristics that determine the size of good cholesterol particles, and then studied their relationship with the risk of myocardial infarction.
The conclusion is that genetic characteristics linked to the generation of large good cholesterol particles are directly associated with a higher risk of heart attack, while features linked to small good cholesterol particles are related to a lower risk of heart attack.
The good cholesterol particles are more effective in transferring cholesterol to the liver so that it can be eliminated, the study revealed.
Currently, there are no drugs that increase good cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. (IANS)