Toronto—A low level of good cholesterol might not be a heart-disease risk factor on its own, and raising HDL does not likely reduce a person’s risk of heart disease, according to a new Canadian study. In fact, the research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds that low and very high levels of HDL are associated with a higher risk of dying from heart disease, cancer, and other causes. To come to that conclusion, the study led by researchers from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto looked at more than 631,000 individuals without prior cardiovascular conditions through the CANHEART cohort, a research database that links multiple individual-level population-based datasets on sociodemographics, cardiac risk factors and comorbidities, and medications. The study was the first to evaluate the association between HDL and death in individuals living in the same environment and exposed to the same healthcare system.

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