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Low LDL cholesterol increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a kind of lipoprotein particle that carries cholesterol into peripheral tissue cells. It can be oxidized to oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL).So LDL is called the "bad cholesterol."
But in a new nine-year study, researchers from China and the United States looked at the relationship between low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) -- commonly known as "bad cholesterol" -- and hemorrhagic stroke, and found that if cholesterol drops too low, it may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. This type of stroke occurs when blood vessels burst in the brain.
The study included 96,043 participants who had no history of stroke, heart disease or cancer at the start of the study. LDL cholesterol levels were measured at the beginning of the study and annually for the next nine years. The reported hemorrhagic stroke was confirmed by medical records.
The researchers found that participants with LDL cholesterol levels between 70 and 99 mg/dL had a similar risk of hemorrhagic stroke. However, when LDL cholesterol levels drop below 70 mg/dL, the risk of hemorrhagic stroke significantly increases. For example, participants with LDL levels below 50 mg/dL had a 169% increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke compared with patients with LDL levels between 70 and 99 mg/dL. These findings were consistent after controlling for age, sex, blood pressure and medication.
"Traditionally, LDL cholesterol levels above 100 mg/dL have been considered optimal for the general population, and those below that level have a higher risk of heart disease," the researchers said. We observed an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke in individuals with LDL cholesterol levels below 70 mg/dL. This observation, if confirmed, could have important implications for therapeutic targets."
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