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Research Finds Low HDL Cholesterol Levels in Latin America and the Caribbean

Nov, 2021 - By WMR

Research Finds Low HDL Cholesterol Levels in Latin America and the Caribbean

According to a meta-analysis published in the eLife journal, low levels of good cholesterol are common in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Cholesterol in the body is necessary for building healthy cells, however an imbalance in cholesterol levels can increase risk of metabolic disorders. HDL cholesterol removes bad cholesterol from the bloodstream and high levels of HDL can also reduce risk of heart disease. Low HDL levels, on the other hand, increase this risk. According to authors of a recent meta-analysis low HDL cholesterol is a common lipid condition in Latin American countries and the Caribbean. Cholesterol data collected from cohorts in North America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia has helped to accelerate initiatives which can delay the start of heart disease. Moreover, monitoring cholesterol levels in Asia Pacific helped clinicians try out strategies which can control this trend. However, limited data is available from the Caribbean and Latin America. According to Rodrigo Carrillo-Larco, fellow at the Imperial College London, School of Public Health, and lead author, the purpose of the study was to understand which lipid disorder is most commonly prevalent in these regions.

 Carrillo-Larco and researchers in Peru evaluated data of 197 studies conducted during 1964 and 2016 on blood cholesterol level and lipid levels in the Caribbean and Latin America. Result did not show any substantial change in lipid levels and blood cholesterol levels in these regions, and from 2005, the regions have witnessed a growing trend of low HDL cholesterol levels, high triglycerides, and high LDL cholesterol. This analysis serves as starting point for more research and tracking of lipid levels and cholesterol among these regions through routine checks and large-scale studies. The results suggest that initiatives for boosting HDL cholesterol levels can offer significant benefits to heart health of the population in these regions. Moreover, continued efforts such as awareness campaigns about exercise, promoting healthy food, and creating infrastructure conducive for walking can reduce rate of metabolic disorders.

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