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The William Harvey Research Institute - Barts and The London

The Effect of Blood Lipids on the Left Ventricle: A Mendelian Randomization Study

A new study by researchers at Queen Mary University of London demonstrates that bad cholesterol has a direct causal effect in inducing heart disease.

Published:
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Image of a man having a heart attack.

The new study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), used a new genetic analysis technique, known as ‘Mendelian Randomization’, to prove the causative effect of bad cholesterol.

Study author Dr Mihir Sanghvi said: “When we used the analysis technique most commonly used for this type of study (observational analysis), we found the opposite results. The novel genetic analysis (Mendelian Randomization) that we used is free from the biases that commonly affect observational analysis and therefore allow us to be much more certain of our conclusions.”

This is the first study to show that bad cholesterol has a direct negative effect on the structure and function of the heart above and beyond the well-known mechanism of atherosclerosis (fatty arteries). The findings add further evidence to the role of drugs that lower cholesterol (statins) having a beneficial effect on the heart.

Further information

Aung N., Sanghvi M., Piechnik S., Neubauer S., Munroe P., Petersen S. "The Effect of Blood Lipids on the Left Ventricle: Mendelian Randomization Study" J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Nov, 76 (21)2477-2488.