When the National Cholesterol Education Program, a government appointed panel, came out with very aggressive target levels for LDL cholesterol, there was not much dispute.
A new paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, while supporting the use of cholesterol-lowering statins, does not believe there is enough evidence to support the target numbers for LDL cholesterol set forth by the NCEP.
Of course, the author's argument challenges mainstream thinking and the consensus among most cardiologists that the lower the cholesterol is, the better. Dr. Rodney Hayward, one of the authors, says, "This paper is not arguing that there is strong evidence against LDL targets, but rather there's no evidence for them. If you are going to take two or three drugs to get to these levels, you need to know you're doing more benefit than harm."
Another paper written in 2004 by American College of Physicians' Dr. Vincenza Snow stated, "All the lipid-lowering trials that have been done have tested a dose of a statin as opposed to either another dose of a statin or another drug. They have never designed a trial to treat to a target. All this treating to a target is not supported by the evidence. The evidence supports putting someone on a certain dose of a statin."
Courtesy of NY Times
Bonnie - The Framingham Heart Studies found that too low of a total cholesterol (below 130) increased the risk of cancer and depression. It certainly behooves anyone who is making cholesterol target ranges to provide double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials first!