Low cholesterol increases overall death rates

Part 1: Introduction

After all that you have heard about cholesterol, you may be surprised to learn that as you age, your chances of an early death rise if your total cholesterol falls.

This disturbing finding was discovered over twenty years ago and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.[1]

It showed clearly that after the age of 50, heart death rates increased by 14% for every 1 mg/dL (0.026 mmol/L) drop in total cholesterol levels per year.

Individuals whose total cholesterol levels drop 14 mg/dL (0.364 mmol/L) during 14 years can expect an 11% higher death rate than if the level had remained the same or risen.

In a British context, if your cholesterol level drops from 6.0 mmol/L to a 'healthy' 5.0 mmol/L, your relative risk of death is four times greater!


1. Anderson KM, et al. Cholesterol and Mortality. 30 Years of Follow-up from the Framingham Study. JAMA 1987; 257: 2176-2180.

Part 1. Overall Death -1 | Part 2. Overall Death -2 | Part 3. Overall Death -3
Part 4: Young deaths
Part 5: Middle aged deaths
Part 6: Elderly Death — 1 | Part 7: Elderly Death — 2 | Part 8: Elderly Death — 3

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Last updated: December 9, 2011