Low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is a well established causal risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

High levels of LDL-C consistently predict a risk of future atherosclerotic cardiovascular events in a variety of populations throughout the world. Also, many randomised controlled trials of treatment with lipid lowering agents have clearly shown that lowering LDL-C levels reduces the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular events in the future.

Because lowering levels of LDL-C reduces cardiovascular disease outcomes, the general perception is that high levels of LDL-C are associated with an increased risk of mortality but low levels are not. Studies on the association between LDL-C levels and the risk of all cause mortality, however, have provided conflicting results, with some studies showing a counterintuitive inverse association (lower mortality with increasing levels of LDL-C) and some showing no association.

So in this study, the team from Denmark set out to determine the association between levels of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and all cause mortality, and the concentration of LDL-C associated with the lowest risk of all cause mortality in the general population.

Read the full open access research;
https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4266