Race-Dependent Association of High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels With Incident Coronary Artery Disease

Good” cholesterol may not be as effective in uniformly predicting the risk of heart disease across adults from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, according to a new study by The CDC.

High-density lipoprotein has reportedly been viewed favorably, because,  it has been shown to absorb cholesterol in the blood and carry it back to the liver, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But in this report either lower levels of high-density lipoproteins or HDL cholesterol – often called “good” cholesterol – were associated with increased risks for heart attacks in white but not black adults.

Why this is important: This is another example of a research parameter gone wrong. How many Black patients have been reassured, however well-intentioned, have been harmed by assuming that elevated high-density lipoproteins were protective? Now we have to reconcile these results with the ever-expanding view that race is a construct not worth measuring.

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