Lower Cholesterol Increases Lifespan

MINNEAPOLIS, June 11 (UPI) — People with decreased low-density lipoprotein, the “bad,” cholesterol can count on an increased life expectancy, U.S. researchers said.

Principal investigator Dr. Henry Buchwald, a bariatric surgeon at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and colleagues evaluated 838 heart attack survivors between the ages of 38-60.

Of the 838 study participants, 417 patients were instructed to go on a diet and 421 were instructed to diet but were also given a partial ileal bypass surgery — to bypass the small intestine where cholesterol is absorbed.

The study, published in the Annals of Surgery, found that 25 years later those in the group that had surgery increased life expectancy by about one year.

“This study contributes to a long path of findings from the trial, that is, high levels of LDL cholesterol are detrimental to your health,” Buchwald said in a statement.

However, because of the advent of statins — a medication that lowers cholesterol — the surgery is now relegated to a small minority of patients who have adverse effects to drugs.

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