High cholesterol and coronary heart disease

Part 3: What trial evidence shows

Today we no longer need to wait for people to die, we can use electron beam computed tomography (EBCT) to look at and measure atherosclerosis and check cholesterol levels while people are still alive.

Two scientists in New York did exactly that.[1] They were particularly concerned with atherosclerosis and LDL (the 'bad' cholesterol) levels.

They chose 182 men as their subjects and then lowered their cholesterol levels with drugs. Then, over time, they measured atherosclerosis. What they found was that lowering cholesterol made not the slightest difference. They were forced to conclude that, with respect to LDL lowering:

'"lower is better'' is not supported by changes in calcified plaque progression.'

There have been many trials of cholesterol-lowering with a wide variety of drugs. As yet, there is no evidence, even with the latest statins, that any of them prolong life.

And there is actually no reason to suppose that it would as LDL cannot be the cause of coronary artery disease, as we will see later.


1. Hecht HS, Harmann SM. Relation of aggressiveness of lipid-lowering treatment to changes in calcified plaque burden by electron beam tomography. Am J Cardiol 2003; 92: 334-6.

Part 1: Beginning | Part 2: Cholesterol? No! | Part 3: Early work confirmed | Part 4: Dietary cholestrol

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Last updated: December 9, 2011