skip to main content skip to footer


Is Low Cholesterol More Dangerous Than High Cholesterol?


This recent Japanese Study Says: YES!


In a study recently completed by the Tokyo-kita Social Health Insurance Hospital, Clinical Education Center, 12,334 healthy adults aged 40 to 69 underwent a mass screening examination in which the serum total cholesterol was measured.  Researchers wanted to evaluate the relationship of cholesterol to mortality (which means death), by sex and cause of death over a period of 11.9 years.  The results will shock you. 

 Results:
When compared to people with normal cholesterol levels (161-202 mgs/dl), men with low cholesterol (less then 161mgs/dl) had a 49% increased rate of death from hemorrhagic stroke, heart failure and cancer while women had a 50% increased chance of death from the same.interior view of the artery

On the other hand, those with high cholesterol (greater then 242) had no increased risk of deathheart.

The researchers concluded: “Low cholesterol was related to high mortality even after excluding deaths due to liver disease from the analysis.  High cholesterol was not a risk factor for mortality” (again, mortality means death).

I know that you find this information shocking; however I have seen it frequently.  So ask yourself the question: should I really be taking these medications?  Bring this information to your doctor; and realize that medications have side effects – and should only be used when absolutely necessary. 

 

Below is the original Abstract for this research.

 



Low Cholesterol is Associated With Mortality From Stroke, Heart Disease, and Cancer: The Jichi Medical School Cohort Study.
Nago N, Ishikawa S, Goto T, Kayaba K.  Tokyo-kita Social Health Insurance Hospital, Clinical Education Center.
Abstract
Background: We investigated the relationship between low cholesterol and mortality and examined whether that relationship differs with respect to cause of death.Methods: A community-based prospective cohort study was conducted in 12 rural areas in Japan. The study subjects were 12 334 healthy adults aged 40 to 69 years who underwent a mass screening examination. Serum total cholesterol was measured by an enzymatic method. The outcome was total mortality, by sex and cause of death. Information regarding cause of death was obtained from death certificates, and the average follow-up period was 11.9 years.Results: As compared with a moderate cholesterol level (4.14-5.17 mmol/L), the age-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of low cholesterol (<4.14 mmol/L) for mortality was 1.49 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.23-1.79) in men and 1.50 (1.10-2.04) in women. High cholesterol (≥6.21 mmol/L) was not a risk factor. This association was unchanged in analyses that excluded deaths due to liver disease, which yielded age-adjusted HRs of 1.38 (95% CI, 1.13-1.67) in men and 1.49 (1.09-2.04) in women. The multivariate-adjusted HRs and 95% CIs of the lowest cholesterol group for hemorrhagic stroke, heart failure (excluding myocardial infarction), and cancer mortality significantly higher than those of the moderate cholesterol group, for each cause of death.Conclusions: Low cholesterol was related to high mortality even after excluding deaths due to liver disease from the analysis. High cholesterol was not a risk factor for mortality.
J Epidemiol. 2011;21(1):67-74. Epub 2010 Dec 11. Low Cholesterol is Associated With Mortality From Stroke, Heart Disease, and Cancer: The Jichi Medical School Cohort Study.  Nago N, Ishikawa S, Kayaba K, Tokyo-kita Social Health Insurance Hospital, Clinical Education Center. PMID: 21160131