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Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, Director of Preventive Cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center talks about his recent study published in The Lancet that challenges the assumption that raising a person’s HDL — the so-called good cholesterol” — will necessarily lower the risk of a heart attack. The new research underscores the value of using genetic approaches to test biological hypotheses about human disease prior to developing specific drugs. A team led by researchers from the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) explored naturally occurring genetic variations in humans to test the connection between HDL levels and heart attack. By studying the genes of roughly 170,000 individuals, the team discovered that, when examined together, the 15 HDL-raising variants they tested do not reduce the risk of heart attack.

In this video, Kathiresan provides a brief overview of the research and findings and gives advice to the medical community about the implications of this study and also answers the big question patients may have regarding their own low HDL cholesterol numbers.