Posted on Nov 13, 2009, 6 a.m.
Large-scale study shows that a person’s risk of cancer may be significantly lower when cholesterol levels are kept low.
In that circulating total cholesterol has been inversely associated with cancer risk, Demetrius Albanes, from US National Cancer Institute (Maryland, USA), and colleagues studied data collected on 29,093 men enrolled in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study, reviewing more than 18 years of data. While the researchers found that cholesterol levels below 200 milligrams per deciliter were associated with an 18% higher overall risk of cancer, but the increased risk applied only to cases diagnosed in the early years of the study. Higher levels of HDL cholesterol were associated with a 14% lower risk of all cancers over the entire study period.
Jiyoung Ahn, Unhee Lim, Stephanie J. Weinstein, Arthur Schatzkin, Richard B. Hayes, Jarmo Virtamo, Demetrius Albanes. “Prediagnostic Total and High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol and Risk of Cancer.” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev November 2009; 18:2814-2821; Published OnlineFirst November 8, 2009, doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-1248.