HDL Cholesterol Inversely Associated With Cancer Risk

Relationship exists even after adjustment for LDL-C, age, sex, BMI, other variables
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and incident cancer risk are significantly inversely associated, and this relationship is independent of factors such as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), age, and smoking, according to research published in the June 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

To study the relationship between HDL-C levels and cancer risk, Haseeb Jafri, M.D., of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of lipid-altering interventions, noting both baseline HDL-C levels and cancer rates.

From 24 eligible randomized controlled trials with 8,185 incident cancers and 625,477 person-years of follow-up, the researchers found a significant inverse relationship between baseline HDL-C levels and cancer occurrence. This inverse relationship carried over after adjusting for other variables, such as age, body mass index, diabetes, smoking, sex, and baseline LDL-C. The relative rate of cancer development dropped 36 percent with every 10 mg/dL increase in HDL-C.

"These findings underscore the importance of reporting cancer rates in future lipid intervention trials and further support the importance of basic scientific research to determine potential underlying mechanisms that might mediate these associations," the authors conclude.

One author disclosed financial ties to Pfizer, and another author disclosed ties to Abbott Laboratories and Merck.

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