It has been pointed out by many opponents of the saturated fat/cholesterol theory of coronary artery disease (CAD) that a paper from January, 2009 shreds this notion. The work is entitled “Lipid levels in patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease: An analysis of 136,905 hospitalizations.” You can obtain an abstract here, with a link to a free full text version.
Among the findings: “In a large cohort of patients hospitalized with CAD, almost half have admission LDL levels <100 mg/dL. More than half the patients have admission HDL levels <40 mg/dL, whereas <10% have HDL=60 mg/dL."
In other words, more than half of this group—heart patients with diagnosed disease—met the current LDL and HDL guidelines.
This is a stunning finding in and of itself, to be sure, but here’s the “Drinking the Kool-Aid” part: “These findings may provide further support for recent guideline revisions with even lower LDL goals and for developing effective treatments to raise HDL.”
Think about this. The precious LDL/HDL cholesterol theory has been tested in a gigantic study, with the ideal endpoint, and has been proven wrong in more than half of the cases! A rational individual would question the validity of the hypothesis, don’t you think? Heck according to most “authorities,” it’s well beyond a mere hypothesis.
The Cleveland Clinic will tell you that: “The fact is, elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, is a major cause of heart disease.”
Instead, though, the authors of this study—most of whom get money from Big Pharma—conclude that the results mean that we must tighten LDL and HDL goals even more—to a point whereby they cannot be achieved except with drugs.
For what it’s worth, while this study is often cited by cholesterol “deniers,” they almost never emphasize the absurd conclusions regarding pushing the guidelines even lower. Perhaps this is to protect the lay audience from falling into despair—as they probably should—over the state of what used to be called science.