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Good cholesterol may mean little for statin users

(Reuters) People with high levels of the so-called good cholesterol HDL tend to have fewer heart attacks but HDL may offer little protective benefit in people who take statins to lower harmful LDL cholesterol, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

"HDL is a very powerful predictor of future risk" of heart disease, said Paul Ridker of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, whose study appears in the journal Lancet.

But "once we get LDL into these very low ranges with very potent statins, HDL no longer predicts future risk of heart disease," he said in a telephone interview.

The findings raise questions about drugs in development to raise HDL to prevent heart attacks, he said.

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