If Your 'Good' Cholesterol Is High, That Might Actually Be BAD For Your Heart

Your cholesterol levels have a direct effect on your overall heart health. It is understood that high levels of LDL cholesterol—or "bad" cholesterol—clogs your arteries and can lead to heart disease or a heart attack.

Doctors encourage patients to keep their HDL cholesterol—or "good" cholesterol—levels high and their LDL cholesterol low to promote a healthy heart, but recent findings show that having a lot of good cholesterol may not be beneficial to your heart.

High levels of HDL cholesterol may be linked to a greater mortality risk, which can possibly change how we approach one's heart health! Not all cholesterol is created equal, and "good" cholesterol may also put your cardiovascular system at risk.

A New Study Has Yielded Shocking Results

A study performed at the University of Copenhagen researched 116,000 individuals from the Copenhagen City Heart Study and the Copenhagen General Population Study. The heart health of these individuals was then compared to mortality information accessed from the Danish Civil Registration System.

These subjects were followed for a total of six years. During the study, the mortality rates and cholesterol levels of the subjects were recorded and evaluated. The correlation between HDL cholesterol and a person's mortality rate was more than revealing.

High Levels Of HDL Cholesterol Can Be Deadly

The study found that men who had higher than average levels of HDL cholesterol in their blood had a mortality rate 106% higher than those with normal HDL levels. Women with high levels of HDL cholesterol had a mortality rate 68% higher than those with average levels of good cholesterol.

Remarkably enough, study subjects with unusually low levels of HDL cholesterol were also at a greater risk of death. Those who had HDL cholesterol levels in between the excessively high and low participants had the lowest mortality rates, making "good" cholesterol a little more complicated than initially perceived.

Heart Health Lands In Some Grey Area

Professor Borge Nordestgaard—the author of the study—stresses that your level of HDL cholesterol is not a tell-tale sign of good heart health.

"It appears that we need to remove the focus from HDL as an important health indicator in research, at hospitals and at the general practitioner. These are the smallest lipoproteins in the blood, and perhaps we ought to examine some of the larger ones instead. For example, looking at blood levels of triglyceride and LDL, the 'bad' cholesterol, are probably better health indicators," he stated.

Going over any heart health concerns with your general practitioner is your best bet to keeping your cardiovascular system strong!