Study questions HDL medication benefit

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Drugs focused on increasing HDL levels (the “good cholesterol”) don't seem to do much to stave off heart attacks, strokes or death as much as has been hoped. Reuters reports that a small study showed the drugs did little in terms of death prevention regardless of whether they'd been taken before or after statins, a drug class which lowers LDL cholesterol levels (the “bad cholesterol”).

Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Steven Nissen tells Reuters the results should not encourage patients to stop taking their medications. Reuters notes that Nissen is heading up an Eli Lilly trial for a CETP inhibitor. CETPs are associated with low HDL levels. Inhibitors work to prevent this and are associated with elevated HDL levels.

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