DO CHOLESTEROL screening tests that do not include lipoprotein analysis provide an accurate assessment of risk of coronary heart disease? Quite often they do not, according to the results of two recently reported studies.
HDL-C An Independent Risk Factor?
The results of the larger factor of the two, conducted by the Framingham (Mass) Study Group (Arteriosclerosis 1988;8:207-211), indicate that when an overall serum cholesterol reading is the only parameter used to determine risk of coronary heart disease a significant number of high-risk patients may go undetected. The reason, says Framingham's chief investigator, William Castelli, MD, is that high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) is emerging as an independent risk factor.From 1969 to 1971, the Framingham group determined fasting levels of HDL-C in 1007 men and 1418 women aged 50 to 79 years, all of whom were free of coronary heart disease. They followed up the group for 12 years after measurement