New study links low levels of HDL to increased risk of kidney problems.
We've known for some time now that low HDL cholesterol is a risk factor for atherosclerosis. But there's been limited research looking at the role of HDL on microvascular diseases.
This new study, done by the The Heart Research Institute in Sydney, Australia, looked for an association between HDL and microvascular disease in over 11,000 patients with Type II diabetes.
The authors concluded that for patients suffering from Type II diabetes, HDL appears to be an independent risk factor for microvascular disease that affects the kidneys.
Independent risk factor means this…
Even if all other kidney risk factors are kept in check, having low levels of HDL puts you at a higher risk for developing a microvascular problem that will affect your kidneys.
Just another reason to keep an eye on your HDL levels.
Microvascular diseases (disease of the smaller blood vessel) is common among diabetics and is commonly associated with problems in the kidneys or retina. The study didn't find a correlation between low HDL levels and issues related to the retina.
This Australian study is in sync with a 2009 study in Italy showing that higher HDL levels are an independent risk factor associated with a reduced risk of chronic kidney disease in Type II adult diabetics.
Wondering how to raise HDL? More exercise and more omega-3 fatty acids are two great places to start.
> Diabetes Care. 2012 Aug 13
> NMCD. 2009 Oct;19(8):580-6. Epub 2009 Feb 3.