Since the pioneering work of John Gofman in the 1950s, our understanding of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and its relationship to coronary heart disease (CHD) has grown substantially. Numerous clinical trials since the Framingham Study in 1977 have demonstrated an inverse relationship between HDL-C and one's risk of developing CHD. Over the past two decades, preclinical research has gained further insight into the nature of HDL-C metabolism, specifically regarding the ability of HDL-C to promote reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). Recent attempts to harness HDL's ability to enhance RCT have revealed the complexity of HDL-C metabolism. This review provides a detailed update on HDL-C as an evolving therapeutic target in the management of cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: atherosclerosis; coronary; high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C); reverse cholesterol transport.