Testing how well “good” cholesterol particles reduce inflammation may help predict who is at heightened risk to develop cardiovascular disease caused by narrowed arteries, according to research published today in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation.
- The ability of HDL particles (commonly known as “good” cholesterol) to reduce inflammation in the cells that line blood vessels may help predict who is more likely to develop a heart attack or other serious heart-related event.
- Gauging the anti-inflammatory capacity of HDL cholesterol may one day improve standard heart disease risk assessment.
- The results may encourage greater attention to the function of HDL particles in addition to quantity of cholesterol within HDL in determining how to assess and reduce heart disease risk.
Assessing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, known as “good cholesterol,” are already a standard part of formulas used to predict cardiovascular risk. A new test of the anti-inflammatory function of HDL seems to provide additional information that is independent of the quantity of HDL. If the results are confirmed in broader populations and a test developed for clinical use, adding anti-inflammatory capacity to risk scores may improve risk prediction and help people take steps to protect themselves against heart disease.