Study finds that elderly with cholesterol less that 189 had a double risk of dying.

Physicians were informed to consider very low levels of cholesterol as potential warning signs of a serious disease or as signals of rapidly declining health.  The study included 4520 men and women between the ages of 65-84.  The study concluded that low total cholesterol was associated with a higher risk of death.  Low cholesterol level is a robust predictor of mortality in the nondemented elderly and may be a surrogate of frailty or subclinical disease according to the research team.

References:

Brescianini S, Maggi S, Farchi G, Mariotti S, Di Carlo A, Baldereschi M, Inzitari D; ILSA Group. Low total cholesterol and increased risk of dying: are low levels clinical warning signs in the elderly? Results from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003 Jul;51(7):991-6.

Schupf N, Costa R, Luchsinger J, Tang MX, Lee JH, Mayeux R. Relationship between plasma lipids and all-cause mortality in nondemented elderly. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Feb;53(2):219-26.

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