The dangers of having low cholesterol

Part 3: Conclusion

Dr A E Dugdale of the Cherbourg Hospital, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia, looked at the costs and benefits of cholesterol-lowering using 1984 Australian mortality statistics.[1] What he discovered was that the main effect of cholesterol lowering 'is to alter the cause of death'. 'When the lowest quintile of cholesterol levels is compared with the highest, the proportion of deaths from heart disease is almost halved, but the proportion from malignancies [cancers] is almost doubled.'

He concluded that:

'A decrease in serum cholesterol of a population by 10%, even if this were possible, would be expensive in money and manpower. The benefits would be small and perhaps not liked by the subjects. We all die and . . . heart disease may be preferable to cancer.'

It's a sobering thought. But when we add all the other adverse effects that low blood cholesterol seems to be responsible for and which increase ill health while we are alive, why would anyone want to lower their cholesterol?

It is quite obvious that, while there might (or might not) be an increased risk of a heart attack in a man, if he is in his 40s and if his cholesterol level is very high, for men older than that, and for women of any age, a cholesterol level over 270mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L) looks healthiest.

With so much evidence of the link between low-cholesterol and poor health — particularly in respect of cancer — why on earth can doctors not see it? It's about time, I think, that those profligate GPs who press cholesterol-lowering drugs on their 'patients' were held to account. Surely there is sufficient evidence now that patients harmed by their doctor's advice could consider sueing for clinical negligence.

Any 'patient' who isn't aware of all this evidence is at serious risk of becoming a victim of the low cholesterol scam.


1. Dugdale A E. Serum cholesterol and mortality rates. Lancet 1987; i: 155-6.

Part 1: Introduction | Part 2: How physicians are fooled | Part 3: Conclusion

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Last updated: December 9, 2011