HDL cholesterol inversely associated with cancer risk

July 9, 2010

Levels of HDL cholesterol and incident cancer risk are significantly inversely associated.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2010;55:2846-2854. [June 22, 2010]

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 researchers from Tufts Medical Center in Boston. They 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.