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Low levels of good cholesterol a bad sign.

Low levels of good cholesterol a bad sign

The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that adults keep their total cholesterol levels at 200 milligrams per deciliter or less. But Michael Miller and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore report that coronary artery disease patients with "safe" levels of total cholesterol still may be at risk if their levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol are low. HDL, often called the "good" cholesterol, helps clear "bad" cholesterol from the blood.

The Hopkins research confirms previous findings that low HDL levels may be a powerful predictor of coronary heart disease. The group suggests revising current guidelines to put more emphasis on comprehensive blood lipid testing. Many physicians today look at total cholesterol levels and don't recommend further testing if those numbers are within the "safe" limits, the researchers say.
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Author:Fackelmann, Kathy A.
Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 26, 1988
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