Wednesday January 29, 2020

Reduce Intake of ‘Ugly Cholesterol’ for Stroke Prevention: Researchers

The study’s findings point to the fact that prevention of myocardial infarction and stroke should not just focus on reducing the bad LDL cholesterol, but also on reducing remnant cholesterol and triglycerides, a type of fat

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Hypertension and metabolic syndrome are important causes of stroke, the researchers said. Pixabay

Reducing high levels of remnant cholesterol or ‘ugly cholesterol’ can significantly cut the risk of stroke and myocardial infarction, suggest researchers.

In a study, published in Atherosclerosis journal, the researchers from University of Copenhagen observed that levels of remnant cholesterol in the blood of adults are just as high as the amount of the “bad” LDL cholesterol.

There are three types of cholesterol found in the blood — remnant cholesterol or ‘ugly cholesterol’, LDL cholesterol or ‘bad cholesterol’ and HDL cholesterol or ‘good cholesterol’.

“Our results show that the amount of remnant cholesterol in the blood of adult Danes is just as high as the amount of the bad LDL cholesterol. We have previously shown that remnant cholesterol is at least as critical as LDL cholesterol in relation to an increased risk of myocardial infarction and stroke, and it is therefore a disturbing development,” said a Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The study’s findings are based on data from people from the Copenhagen General Population Study, a Danish population survey with a total of 140,000 participants.

Representational image.
Overweight people have better chances of survival from stroke. Pixabay

This study shows that remnant cholesterol may be more responsible than LDL cholesterol, the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol, for cardiovascular diseases.

The researchers discovered that from the age of 20 until the age of 60, the amount of remnant cholesterol in the blood constantly increases, and for many people it remains at a high level for the rest of their lives.

“Previous studies from the Copenhagen General Population Study show that overweight and obesity are the main cause of the very high amount of remnant cholesterol in the blood of adult Danes. In addition, diabetes, hereditary genes and lack of exercise play a part,” said MD Mie Balling, one of the authors of the study.

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The study’s findings point to the fact that prevention of myocardial infarction and stroke should not just focus on reducing the bad LDL cholesterol, but also on reducing remnant cholesterol and triglycerides, a type of fat.

“So far, both cardiologists and GPs have focused mostly on reducing LDL cholesterol, but in the future, the focus will also be on reducing triglycerides and remnant cholesterol,” said Borge Nordestgaard, a Professor at the varsity. (IANS)

Next Story

Stroke Patients At a Risk of Suffering From Heart Attack: Study

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Heart attack
Stroke Patients more likely to have a heart attack or another major cardiovascular event within thirty days of having a stroke. Pixabay

Both women and men are significantly more likely to have a heart attack or another major cardiovascular event, according to a new study.

The research, published in the journal Stroke, demonstrated for the first time that in people with no underlying heart disease, after a stroke they were more than 20 times more likely than those who didn’t have a stroke (23-fold in women and 25-fold in men) to have a first-in-life major adverse cardiovascular event.

These events include things like heart attack, chest pain, cardiac failure or cardiac death.

This risk dropped after 30 days, but even one year after a stroke, men and women both still had twice the risk of a major cardiac event than those who didn’t have a stroke, according to the study.

“This shows that after taking risk factors into consideration, having experienced a recent stroke was independently associated with the incidence of major adverse cardiac events,” said study researcher Luciano Sposato, Associate Professor at Western University in Canada.

Heart attack
Stroke Patients may suffer from heart attack, chest pain, cardiac failure or cardiac death. Pixabay

“This leads us to believe that there are underlying mechanisms linked to stroke that may be causing heart disease,” Sposato added.

For the findings, the research team examined ICES data for more than 90,000 adults over the age of 65 in Ontario with no pre-existing clinical diagnosis of heart disease.

The researchers examined the incidence of cardiac events in two groups – a group of just over 20,000 that had a stroke and a group of approximately 70,000 individuals without stroke but with similar vascular risk factors, comorbidities and demographic characteristics.

In a paper published earlier in 2019, Sposato and collaborators used animal models to back up this finding by demonstrating that the brain damage caused by stroke leads to inflammation and scarring in the left atrium of the heart.

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These changes are well-known structural abnormalities for a number of heart diseases such as heart attacks, heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias.

The researchers hope this information will inform clinical practice and encourage health care providers to watch for cardiovascular symptoms in patients who recently had strokes. (IANS)