How do cholesterol levels affect the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD)?

Updated: Mar 30, 2020
  • Author: F Brian Boudi, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Yasmine S Ali, MD, MSCI, FACC, FACP  more...
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Answer

Answer

The Framingham Heart Study results demonstrated that the higher the cholesterol level, the greater the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD); alternatively, CAD was uncommon in people with cholesterol levels below 150 mg/dL. In 1984, the Lipid Research Clinics-Coronary Primary Prevention Trial revealed that lowering total and LDL or bad cholesterol levels significantly reduced CAD. More recent series of clinical trials using statin drugs have provided conclusive evidence that lowering LDL cholesterol reduces the rate of myocardial infarction (MI), the need for percutaneous coronary intervention and the mortality associated with CAD-related causes. [21]


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