High density lipoprotein cholesterol: an evolving target of therapy in the management of cardiovascular disease

Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):39-57. doi: 10.2147/vhrm.2008.04.01.39.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diet therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, HDL / drug effects*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking Cessation


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Hypolipidemic Agents