Low cholesterol ‘linked to poor kidney cancer prognosis'

13 June 2014

Many people are told lowering the cholesterol can improve the health of their heart, but new research from Medical University of Vienna, Austria, suggests it could actually increase the risk of death for kidney cancer patients.

The findings of the new study - published in BJU International - suggest cholesterol testing could help doctors to monitor and treat people with this type of cancer.

Previous research indicates that changes in cholesterol are linked to the development, progression and prognosis of various forms of cancer, but Dr Tobias Klatte wanted to investigate its relation to kidney cancer specifically.

The research team analysed the blood cholesterol in 867 patients with this type of cancer before they underwent surgery. The patients were then followed for an average of 52 months.

According to the results, low blood cholesterol before treatment was linked to more advanced tumour stages and cancer spread during follow-up. In addition, patients with higher levels were 43 per cent less likely to die from their disease compared to those with low cholesterol.

In reference to the findings, Dr. Klatte commented: "As this was a hypothesis-generating study, our findings should be confirmed in independent datasets. If confirmed, patients with low cholesterol may be considered high-risk and may be treated or followed up more aggressively."

Posted by Philip Briggs

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