New research has highlighted how raising levels of HDL good cholesterol in the body for people with type 2 diabetes could help reduce the risk of heart problems and stroke.
The scientists examined data from 30,067 patients with type 2 diabetes who had their HDL measured twice, six to 24 months apart, between 2001 and 2006, with a focus on those who had later suffered from heart disease or stroke. They then compared the chances of being hospitalised for those whose HDL levels went up or down between the two measurements with patients whose HDL levels had stayed about the same.
An increase in HDL cholesterol was seen to be linked to a reduction in the risk of hospitalisation for both heart disease and stroke, while a sizeable reduction in HDL was associated with a much higher risk of hospitalisation. The report, which was published in the American Journal of Cardiology, suggested “that the prevention of a HDL cholesterol decrease might be at least as important as increasing the HDL cholesterol level.”
The team claimed that around a half of all people with type 2 diabetes have low levels of HDL levels, although it still has not been shown why higher HDL cholesterol levels help to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

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