Isolated low HDL-cholesterol as an important risk factor for coronary heart disease

Eur Heart J. 1990 Dec;11 Suppl H:9-14. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/11.suppl_h.9.


Decreased levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol are found in patients with hypertriglyceridaemia and in patients who have inherited disorders associated with premature coronary heart disease. Hereditary conditions associated with low levels of HDL-cholesterol and normal total cholesterol levels include familial hypoalphalipoproteinaemia, Tangier disease, fish eye disease, and lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase deficiency. Secondary causes of low HDL-cholesterol levels include any condition that affects liver metabolism. A recent study of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) who had normal levels of low density lipoprotein cholesterol and total cholesterol revealed that two-thirds of the men and four-fifths of the women had low HDL-cholesterol levels, suggesting that low HDL-cholesterol may be more prevalent than previously suspected. The high incidence of isolated hypoalphalipoproteinaemia in this group indicates that HDL-cholesterol measurements should be performed on all patients with CAD, regardless of their total cholesterol levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol, HDL / biosynthesis
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Coronary Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Disease / etiology
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors


  • Cholesterol, HDL