New Delhi: Reacting
to a study report that 'good cholesterol' - known to check harmful
cholesterol from blood - does not lower risk of heart diseases,
international health experts Thursday said here that it is "too
early" to draw conclusions on its negative effects.
"It is a good study that was badly interpreted. The positive
spinoff from the study is that it provided the prod for moving
away from over-focusing on the contribution of cholesterol," said
Philip Barter, director of heart research institute in Sydney,
reacting to British medical journal Lancet's study on good
Known to be vital in the functioning of cardio-vascular system,
high density lipoproteins (HDL or good cholesterol) works by
sweeping the bad form of the fatty substance called low density
lipoproteins (LDL or bad cholesterol) out of the blood-carrying
arteries to reduce clogs.
"It can steer towards an evaluation of the broad range of
high-density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) functions,"
Barter said in a media interaction organised here.
While the study found that people with a genetic condition that
causes high HDL level have the same heart-attack risk as the
general population, experts said the findings had to be seen in a
context. The study suggested that there's no guarantee the drugs
will make a difference in increasing HDL and lowering LDL.
Barter was accompanied by John Chapman, president of the European
Atherosclerosis Society, who said there is still time to
understand why good cholesterol would have a negative effect.
"It is important not to jump to conclusions (from the Lancet
study) as HDL is structurally and functionally much more complex
than LDL," Chapman said.
"Moreover, the understanding of why low levels of HDL or good
cholesterol has such a negative effect on cardio-vascular diseases
is still incomplete," Chapman told IANS.
While the international experts said there is still time to go for
the study to show results, experts here believe that the trick to
balanced cholesterol for Indians is a balanced diet and lowered
ghee (fat) products.
"In India, there are approximately 3.5 million people who die of
heart disease and stroke every year. We are also facing metabolism
syndrome as we are physically inactive and there is some problem
of genetic obesity," said J.P.S. Sawhney, chairperson of
cardiology at Gangaram Hospital.
"Take proper diet, quit smoking and alcohol, maintain the weight
and the most important thing is reduce the stress level," Sawhney