Levels of 'bad' blood cholesterol are declining in the UK

Title Decline in LDL-cholesterol concentration: lipid lowering drugs, diet, or physical activity? Evidence from the Whitehall II study
Authors Bouillon, K., Singh-Manoux, A., Jokela, M., Shipley, M. J., Batty, G. D., Brunner, E. J., Sabia, S., Tabak, A. G., Akbaraly, T. N., Ferrie, J. E., Kivimäki, M.
Ref Heart (British Cardiac Society) 97, 11, 923-30
Lay summary

High levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) in the blood are known to increase a person’s chances of having a heart attack. It is therefore positive news that, over the last few years in the UK, levels of blood cholesterol have been falling. In this study we were interested in finding out which factors explain the recent fall in LDL cholesterol levels among 4469 participants in the Whitehall II study.

As expected, medication partly explained the fall in LDL cholesterol. The effect of healthier diets and physical exercise, while important, was smaller than that of drugs.

Promoting lifestyle modification, along with cholesterol-lowering drugs, may have positive effects on LDL levels.

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