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Does ‘good cholesterol’ protect against heart disease? High-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels — also known as “good cholesterol” has so far considered good for heart health, especially for women. However, a new research is shading doubts on this idea.

High-density lipoproteins (HDL) is called the “good” cholesterol because it transports cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver, helping in preventing excess accumulation. High levels of HDL cholesterol are known to be protective for heart health.

However, some recent studies have claimed that HLD cholesterol may not so good for heart health.

A new study was performed to answer this question: does ‘good cholesterol’ protect against heart disease?

It was conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in Pennsylvania — in collaboration with colleagues from other institutions.

Their findings of the link between “good cholesterol” and a healthy heart are published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology of the American Heart Association. They examined the medical data of 1,138 women, aged 45–84.

“This study confirms our previous work on a different group of women and suggests that clinicians need to take a closer look at the type of HDL in middle-aged and older women, because higher HDL cholesterol may not always be as protective in postmenopausal women as we once thought,” lead author Samar El Khoudary concluded.

“High total HDL cholesterol in postmenopausal women could mask a significant heart disease risk that we still need to understand,” Khoudary notes.