WASHINGTON: Lowering cholesterol as much as possible may reduce the risk of heart disease, but with a price: taking it too low could raise the risk of cancer, US researchers reported on Tuesday.
Patients who took statin drugs to lower their cholesterol had a slightly higher risk of cancer, although the study did not show that the statin drugs themselves caused the cancer.
The researchers found one extra case of cancer per 1,000 patients with the lowest levels of LDL â€” low density lipoprotein or so-called bad cholesterol â€” when compared to patients with higher LDL levels.
Dr Richard Karas of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and colleagues did not look directly at patients for their study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Instead, they did what is known as a meta-analysis, looking at the records of 41,173 patients in 23 different trials of statins