Low concentrations of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol constitute a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). There is increasing evidence that increasing HDL-cholesterol levels reduces cardiovascular risk. The phenotype of low HDL cholesterol with or without elevated triglycerides is common and it is characteristic of patients with central obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus; conditions associated with increased cardiovascular risk and are part of the rubric of the metabolic syndrome. Epidemiological, experimental and clinical trial evidence suggests that there is a good rationale for raising HDL-cholesterol in these and other high-risk patients. The protective effect of HDL-cholesterol against atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease is mediated by both enhanced reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) and by direct anti-atherosclerotic mechanisms. Recent studies have elucidated mechanisms whereby HDL acts to reduce cardiovascular risk, supporting the rationale for targeting of HDL with lipid-modifying therapy. Ongoing investigation of mechanisms by which HDL acts to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis will provide opportunities for the development of new therapeutic strategies to decrease the risk of atherosclerosis.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Clinical Biochemist Reviews|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2004|