Discussions that mention gemfibrozil

High Cholesterol board


Quote from mattiza:
My Doc wants me to het my HDL level higher. So I asked a question.
Thanks for the reply.


I assumed that was your reason for posting. Low HDL is a risk factor..here's an article:

February 7, 1997


NEW YORK (Reuters) - People with very low blood levels of HDL cholesterol
- the "good" cholesterol - are at increased risk for cardiac death even if
their total cholesterol level is within medically "desirable" limits, a new
study shows.


A 21-year follow-up study of 8,000 men found the risk of heart disease
death was about 38% higher in men who had HDL levels below 35 milligrams
per deciliter of blood (mg/dL), whether their total cholesterol levels were
above or below 200 milligrams. Over this limit of total cholesterol,
treatment for high cholesterol is advised.


The finding that low HDL levels are, in themselves, a risk for heart
disease may change the way doctors size up an apparently healthy person's
risk of death from a heart attack, say researchers in Israel, where the
study was conducted.


Dr. Uri Goldbourt of Tel Aviv University and his colleagues say their
findings belie the general medical belief that low HDL levels "pose no
risk" if a healthy person's blood levels of LDL cholesterol (the "bad"
cholesterol) and total cholesterol are normal.


"Abnormally low HDL-C levels carry a similar excess risk in (healthy) men
with (low) TC (total cholesterol) as they do for counterparts with higher
TC," write the authors.


The study, headed by Dr. Jack H. Medalie, professor of family medicine at
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, also found that the risk
of heart disease deaths associated with low HDL "appeared particularly
increased" in men with diabetes. Their death rate was 65% higher than that
of diabetic men whose HDL levels were greater than 35 mg/dL.


"We've come to realize that HDL can be very much a primary factor. And if
you have an HDL that is very low because of lack of exercise, because of
smoking or obesity, that can be a very important high-risk factor for heart
disease," said Medalie.


Study results were based on 8,000 male Israeli civil servants and
municipal employees who had undergone extensive medical evaluations in
1965. At the beginning of the study, the men were aged 42 years and older.
None had a history of heart disease symptoms. The researchers followed the
medical histories of the men, and looked at deaths that occurred among the
group through 1986.


According to the Israeli team, the new findings may have important
implications for preventing cardiac deaths in people without heart disease
symptoms. They say increasing a person's HDL to levels above 35 mg/dL
should be an important consideration, along with reducing other known risks
such as high LDL levels, and high blood pressure.


"Quitting smoking, increasing physical activity, and decreasing body
weight would all contribute to raise HDL cholesterol in individuals of most
or all age groups," they say.


But whether raising HDL levels with drugs such as gemfibrozil and
bezafibrate can help to reduce the risk of heart attack in patients with
coronary artery disease remains to be proven, the researchers say, adding
that studies testing that possibility are currently underway.


SOURCE: Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
(1997;17(1):107-113)