Johns Hopkins Medicine writes that coronary artery disease (CAD), which is also known as ischemic heart disease, is the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting over 5 million Americans. CAD is a narrowing of the coronary arteries, which are the vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle, generally due to the buildup of plaques in the arterial walls, in a process known as atherosclerosis. The plaques are composed of cholesterol-rich fatty deposits, collagen, other proteins, and excess smooth muscle cells.
On Jan. 21, 2013 the University of Copenhagen reported in a news release, Overlooked ugly cholesterol causes heart disease. It has been found that the risk of ischemic heart disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide, is three times higher in people with high levels of the so-called 'ugly' cholesterol. This has been the finding of a new study of 73,000 Danes, which is shedding light on a long debate dealing with this topic. This study has been published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Many individuals are aware that high cholesterol is life-threatening. However, very few
understand which type of cholesterol is the most frequent killer. Cholesterol is viewed as being divided into 'the good' HDL cholesterol, 'the bad' LDL cholesterol and 'the ugly' cholesterol. It has been found to be the so-called 'ugly cholesterol,' which is also called 'remnant cholesterol,' that is a really bad type. "LDL cholesterol or 'the bad' cholesterol' has been recognized as being bad.
This new study reveals that the ugly cholesterol is the direct cause of atherosclerosis which results in ischemic heart disease and early death. In an examination of 73,000 people, it was found that an increase in the ugly cholesterol triples the risk of ischemic heart disease, which is caused by lack of oxygen to the heart muscle due to narrowing or blocking of the coronary arteries. Professor Børge Nordestgaard, Chief Physician at Copenhagen University Hospital and Clinical Professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen, has said, "I hope that this new knowledge will lead to better preventive treatment including lifestyle changes, as more than one in five individuals in affluent countries suffers from high ugly cholesterol."
Børge Nordestgaard has noted that since high ugly cholesterol results from high blood levels of normal fat, or triglycerides, and since the most important cause of high ugly cholesterol is being overweight and obesity, people with high ugly cholesterol should therefore be advised to lose weight. Clearly, unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking, fatty foods and being overweight all increase the risk of heart disease. Børge Nordestgaard says that drugs such statins and fibrates may also lower levels of ugly cholesterol in the blood.